UFC champ vacates title after suffering ‘worst shoulder injury in UFC history’

Jiri Prochazka has vacated his UFC light-heavyweight title just after suffering the worst shoulder injury in the history of the promotion in a wrestling accident.

The Czech mixed martial artist, who won the title against Glover Teixeira at UFC 275 in June, will not longer appear at UFC 282 on December 12 – with the latter rejecting the chance to fight for the vacant belt.

Former champion Jan Blachowicz will now taking on surging challenger Magomed Ankalaev for the light-heavyweight strap.

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Details of Prochazka's injury have been shared, as his manager Tim Simpson says that the shoulder was wrecked in a wrestling accident.

Speaking to Kevin Iole of Yahoo Sport, UFC president Dana White said: "This is the worst shoulder injury the doctors have seen in UFC history.

"It's really f***ing bad. His shoulder is very, very bad. He's going to have serious surgery that will require extensive rehab."

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Taking to Instagram following the announcement, Prochazka explained the decision to vacate his title. He said: "I am very disappointed to announce that I will not be defending my belt at UFC 282.

"I was injured in training in Las Vegas while finishing my preparation for my title defence in the UFC’s light heavyweight division. I injured my shoulder and surgery is required which will put me out of action for at least six months.

"Knowing this information, I have decided, after consulting with UFC management, that due to this time constraint, I will not hold [up] the light heavyweight division and will vacate the title."

With that co-main event moving into the top billing, Paddy Pimblett's lightweight bout against Jared Gordon now takes the penultimate slot.

Pimblett makes his PPV debut in his fourth UFC bout, having beaten Luigi Vendramini by knockout and both Rodrigo Vargas and Jordan Leavitt by submission in London.

UFC 282 takes place at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas on December 10 – and will also feature bouts between Bryce Mitchell and Ilia Topuria as well as Darren Till vs Dricus du Plessis.


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