UFC 300 Preview and Prediction: Jiri Prochazka – Aleksandar Rakic

MMA: UFC 275- Teixeira vs Prochazka
Paul Miller-USA TODAY Sports

The featured prelim of UFC 300 will feature a former light heavyweight champion and the return of one of the best contenders in the division. Former champ Jiri Prochazka (29-4-1) gets back at it as he takes on top contender Aleksandar Rakic (14-3) who will be fighting for the first time in nearly two years.

The last time we saw Rakic was when he was taking on former light heavyweight champion Jan Blachowicz. In that fight, Rakic suffered a severe knee injury which caused the fight to be stopped and he’s been out since. He was supposed to return in January to rematch with Blachowicz, but Blachowicz pulled out leading to this fight on Saturday night.

Prior to the injury loss, Rakic had won back-to-back fights over former title challengers Thiago Santos and Anthony Smith. Both of those wins held more weight in 2020 and 2021 when they occurred. It’ll be interesting to see how he deals with the storm that’ll come his way on Saturday night.

Jiri Prochazka came out swinging in the UFC knocking out former title challengers Volkan Oezdemir and Dominick Reyes in his first two fights. Those earned him a title shot against Glover Teixeira and those two went to war. Prochazka pulled out a last minute submission to win the light heavyweight title. However, he then suffered a severe shoulder injury.

That forced him to vacate the belt. He returned at UFC 295 in November to face Alex Pereira for the vacant title and looked good. However, he was clipped and stopped in the second round by the now light heavyweight champion. He’s looking to get back on track and back to his winning ways on Saturday night.

UFC 300 Prediction

I have to say that I’m completely stunned by the odds of this fight. Most oddsmakers have Rakic as the favorite despite Prochazka being the former champion and Rakic not fighting for two years. Prochazka also had a 13-fight win streak before he lost to Pereira whereas Rakic lost a split decision to Volkan Oezdemir in 2019. Yes, I know that he should’ve won, but two judges still think he lost the fight.

In watching Aleksandar Rakic in his UFC career thus far, he fights great from range and he fights great when he can lead the dance. However, you can tell he’s not comfortable with a lot of forward pressure coming back at him and he just doesn’t fight the best when things get tight. Unfortunately for him, his UFC 300 opponent is a storm that’s not going to stop coming forward.

Prochazka is dynamic and he’s going to bring a ton of pressure towards Rakic. Rakic will have some openings to counter Prochazka and we know the former champion can be hit. However, I just think there’s going to be too much volume and big moments from the former champion in this one. Not 100% convinced they’ll be a finish in this one, but I’m fairly confident right now that the former champ gets his hand raised at UFC 300.

Prediction: Jiri Prochazka by Decision

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