Glover Teixeira, 42, has lost his UFC light heavyweight title after giving up in the closing seconds of an all-time five-round epic.
“This is a Hall of Fame fight, eventually it will be inducted,” Jon Anik said in a comment.
Teixeira and Jiri Prochazka put up a fight to last, split equally between bulldozing punching and elite-level grappling, before finally Prochazka sealed a rear naked choke in the fifth round with 28 seconds left. It was the first time he went past three rounds and only his third UFC fight ever.
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Prochazka’s record rises to 29-3-1, making him the 15th undisputed light heavyweight champion in the history of the UFC organization and the first champion from the Czech Republic.
Before that, there was a “raid” in the co-main event, and former champion Joanna Jedrzejczyk also announced her shock retirement after suffering a brutal loss to Weili Zhang.
ALL-TIME TITLE WAR
The light heavyweight title fight between 42-year-old Glover Teixeira and Jiri Prochazka delivered a war of epic proportions from the very first minute. Brazilian superstar Teixeira, the champion, twice defeated his rival in the opening round but failed to capitalize on his position with much effective ground and pound. Prochazka bounced back late in the round and soon claimed a mount and finished the action with a series of bombs.
Prochazka started the second round with a sensational blitz, rocking the champion with a stunning attack that could easily have stopped a weaker rival. But Teixeira took it all – flying knees, fists, elbows – and defeated his tiring opponent with a left hook out of thin air.
Teixeira turned his positional dominance into brutal and bloody attacks. By the end of the round, Prochazka had a massive cut above his left eye, although Teixeira himself was bleeding profusely from his nose.
In the third round, Teixeira continued chasing takedowns after being beaten when both men were on their feet. But it was Prochazka himself who twice left his opponent on the canvas – only to bounce him back on both occasions. Teixeira appeared to be in deep trouble, especially as he parried a left hook and then a crippling body right shot that knocked him over. Prochazka finally took the opportunity to take his opponent to the ground and smashed the champion with a vicious flurry. But Teixeira survived the incredible damage he suffered and once again managed to evade submission and finish the round at the head of his rival.
Texiera broke out of the blocks early in the fourth round and quickly defeated his rival. Prochazka squirmed, narrowly avoiding a submission before exploding and raining punches on his prone opponent.
But Teixeira managed to reverse her position in the wrestling match – only for Prochazka to do the same in the final seconds of the round.
The fighters not only touched the gloves at the beginning of the fifth round, they hugged each other and enjoyed the loud cheers of the crowd.
Teixeira charged forward and landed a deadly combination that seemed to bounce the challenger off before committing a massive error. The champion tried to grab and trip Prochazka, but the sweaty, slippery bodies saw Teixeira lose his footing and Prochazka somehow ended up in the lead.
However, Prochazka was deeply troubled and allowed Teixeira to get back on his feet. Their incredible fight only escalated to another level when Teixeira defeated his rival – for Prochazka to switch roles again and reclaim the top spot.
And with just 28 seconds left, Teixeira tapped the rear bare choke.
Teixeira was ahead on the judges’ scorecards in the fifth round. He said: “He hit me with some body shots that took the gas away from me. I was gassed.”
But he declared he will not give up despite the defeat, saying: “Did I look like 42 out there? Then I’ll continue!”
“I broke my left hand, I think something is wrong there,” said Prochazka.
“It’s amazing, amazing, amazing,” he added of his win.
“It was a true war, Glover is a true warrior. I like that,” he concluded.
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ZHANG DELIVERS INSANE knockout as JEDRZEJCZYK retires
The original match between Jedrzejczyk and Zhang was an all-out slugfest and the rematch soon followed a similar trend as Zhang landed heavy shots on the bar.
Jedrzejczyk survived the first round, but ultimately she couldn’t survive a spinning fist from Zhang that knocked her unconscious to the canvas.
Ultimately, it was Jedrzejczyk’s final fight that saw her remove her gloves, in a tradition of fighters announcing their retirement in the octagon before revealing her decision in the post-fight interview with Daniel Cormier.
“I’m retired guys,” said Jedrzejczyk.
“I love you so much. Thank you for this opportunity. UFC, Dana, I’m so sorry I let you down.”
“I’m turning 35 this year. I want to be a mom; I want to be a business woman. I want all of this to happen now. I’ve been training for two decades, more than half of my life. I love you.”
SHEVCHENKO SURVIVES WILD FEAR
Women’s flyweight champion Valentina Shevchenko has crushed all contenders for her title but needed a controversial decider to retain her throne in a gripping and grueling war with Taila Santos.
Shevchenko struggled with Santos’ physicality and grappling and was forced to dodge repeated submission attempts. But she fought back well in the final two rounds to seal a split decision 48-47, 47-48, 49-46.
The fight centered on a brutal clash of heads midway through the third round. There was a brutal cut over the right eye of Santos, who had been clearly handicapped for the last two rounds.
She said: “Unfortunately I couldn’t really see with my right eye after it was closed. I saw two Valentinas, I just tried to hit the middle.”
However, the 49-46 result sparked controversy due to Santos’ exceptional performance, with many fans and pundits including Daniel Cormier believing the challenger had won the opening three rounds.
Shevchenko was booed when the result was announced, while Santos received strong praise from the crowd when she was introduced for her post-fight interview.
“I’m still young. I can’t complain about the decisions or anything. This isn’t the last time you’ll see me fight for a belt… I’m here, I’m still young, I’m ready for the next one.”
AUSSIES TAKE ON SINGAPORE
Many Australian fans traveled to Singapore for UFC 275. And they were rewarded with an epic trio of performances from three Australian stars with victories in great fights.
In the final bout of the undercard, Josh Culibao won a stellar split decision by knocking down his opponent twice in a sensational boxing show. Then welterweight Jack Della Maddalena fought back from the brink to demolish an opponent in the main card’s opening bout. Finally, a third Aussie in Jake Matthews won three straight wins with an explosive second-round KO from Andre Fialho, who heralded him as a serious welterweight threat.
FULL STORY: THREE Aussies secure victory at UFC 275 in blockbuster performances
DEBUTANT STRENGTHENS AMERICAN STAR
In an explosive opening to an easy match between Hayisaer Maheshate and American Steve Garcia, both fighters were ready to act.
But it was a Maheshate shot that ended the fight after just one minute and 14 seconds.
The Chinese star slipped Garcia a left hand before unloading a right hand. that caught the American blush on his chin as he moved in.
Garcia immediately fell to the ground when the referee waved the fight off.
UFC fans were blown away by what they just saw of Maheshate making his UFC debut.
FIGHTER FOLDS IN THE FIRST ROUND
Silvana Gomez Juarez also enjoyed an early knockout after cleaning out Liang Na with a nice left hook.
Gomez Juarez struggled in one of the early round bouts, dropping her rival on her knee with a thundering right hand.
Na sort of bounced back, but she was the easiest goal in the world as Gomez Juarez found her chin with a clean left hook and cold-punched her opponent as the referee waved the fight off.
Main Card (from 12pm AEST)
Glover Teixeira (c) defeated by Jiri Prochazka (Light Heavyweight Championship)
Valentina Shevchenko (c) def Taila Santos via SD (Women’s Flyweight Championship)
Weil Zhang def Joanna Jedrzejczyk via KO (strawweight women)
Jake Matthews (AUS) def Andre Fialho via KO (welterweight)
Jack Della Maddalena (AUS) def Ramazan Emeev via KO (welterweight)
Prelims (starting at 10:00am AEST)
Joshua Culibao (AUS) def Choi Seung-Woo via SD (Featherweight)
Hayisaer Maheshat Def Steve Garcia via KO (Lightweight)
Brendan Allen def Jacob Malkoun via UD (AUS) (Middleweight)
Kang Kyung Ho def Danaa Batgerel via UD (Bantamweight)
Early Prelims (from 8:30am AEST)
Liang Na def through Silvana Gomez Juárez via KO (strawweight women)
Ramona Pascual prevailed Joselyne Edwards via UD (women’s featherweight)
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