UFC 303: Alex Pereira rocks Jiri Prosaska with head-kick KO to retain light heavyweight belt

Alas. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Juffa LLC via Getty Images)

Alex Pereira is starting to look like the UFC’s most unstoppable force as Jiri Prosaska once again testifies.

The UFC light heavyweight champion defended his belt against the former title holder with a brutal leg kick to the head, and the KO fell to the ground with a few punches, leaving Prochaska unconscious after the fight was called.

It happened again at the end of the first round when Perera leveled Prosaska with a hard left with a good second left. If it had been a few more seconds, the fight would have been over.

Both fighters entered the bout with some weird drama. In an interview the week of the fight, Prochaska said Pereira gained an unfair advantage with “magic,” or the champion’s pre-fight rituals that touch on his indigenous heritage.

He asked Perera not to use such rituals, which Perera flatly refused. With that history, the two are known for their personal attraction, staring at each other for nearly five minutes before the fight.

It seems that the year 2024 will be remembered as the year of Periyar. He landed in the main event of the promotion’s stacked UFC 300 card and lived up to the moment with a first-round knockout of Jamahal Hill that would have been the moment of the night if Max Holloway hadn’t gone berserk.

At UFC 303, Conor McGregor pulled out of the previously scheduled main event against Michael Sandler, and Pereira and Proszka came on two-and-a-half weeks’ notice. Regardless of the outcome, Pereira would have received praise from UFC President Dana White. But to defend his belt convincingly against one of the most dangerous fighters in the division, that’s what makes you a superior champion.

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The question now is what’s next for Perera, who took over a previously chaotic division with wins over three former champions: ProchΓ‘zka, Hill and Jan Blachowicz. He could still face Magomad Ankalaev, who has a good argument that he was stripped of the belt in a controversial draw with Blachowicz, but said through an interpreter that he wants to move up to heavyweight with a chance to make the UFC’s top three. – Division Champion.

“I think it’s in my future I think it’s in my future.”

The fight ended up being one of the most logistically chaotic cards in UFC history, with the co-main event having to be reworked four different times. As a result of that fight, Diego Lopes defeated Don Ike, who entered on four hours notice.

Here’s how each fight went, via Yahoo Sports:

Live coverage is over142 updates

  • Result: Alex Pereira def. Jiri Prochaska by TKO (head kick, punches) at 0:15 of R2

  • It’s all over!! Head kick to Perera!!

  • Round 1

    Prochaska lands a big left hook at the buzzer! He is saved by Bell and pushed to his corner.

  • The fight begins

    After a stalemate that lasted nearly five minutes, the fight begins with a quick Perera takedown.

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