Alex Pereira Knocks Out Jiri Prochazka

Published On: 7/1/2024

Alex Pereira Knocks Out Jiri Prochazka to Defend UFC Light Heavyweight Championship Title at UFC 303

Monster Energy congratulates 36-year-old Brazilian MMA athlete Alex Pereira on defeating Jiri Prochazka to retain his UFC Men’s Light Heavyweight title at UFC 303 in Las Vegas. In the event’s headline fight, the reigning champion from São Bernardo do Campo, Brazil, shut down his opponent via knockout at 0:13 minutes of Round 2.

 Aside from defending his title for the second time, Pereira also received the UFC’s $50,000 Performance of the Night Bonus for the fifth time since joining the UFC in 2021.

UFC 303: Pereira vs. Procházka 2 was contested in front of 18,881 spectators inside T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. The main Card featured five fights, which were broadcast live on ESPN, and the preliminary bouts were streamed on the ESPN+ platform.

Monster Energy’s Pereira (11-2) stepped into the Octagon as the reigning UFC Men’s Light Heavyweight Champion. He most recently defended his title with a knockout victory over Jamahal Hill at UFC300 in Las Vegas in April 2024.

Pereira’s opponent, Czech fighter Jiri Prochazka (30-5-1), most recently knocked out Aleksandar Rakic at UFC 300 to earn a shot at challenging Pereira for the title.

Pereira vs. Procházka 2 was a highly anticipated rematch after the two fighters initially clashed for the vacant UFC Men’s Light Heavyweight title at UFC 295 in New York City in November. Pereira emerged as the new champion after a vicious second-round knockout. Now Prochazka received his second shot!

The intensity was palpable as Pereira and Prochazka engaged in the Octagon at UFC 303. Round 1 saw both fighters gauge their opponent’s defenses, as Pereira chipped away with leg kicks and Prochazka fired back with unpredictable left hooks. In a key moment, the opening round ended on a dramatic note when Pereira knocked down the challenger with a fierce left hook right before time, leaving Prochazka stumbling for the safety of his corner after the bell.

Wasting no time in the second round, Pereira immediately sensed an opening for a brutal head kick that sent Prochazka straight to the canvas. Finalizing his victory, Pereira followed up with relentless ground-and-pound from the top until referee Herb Dean ended the fight at 0:13 minutes of Round 2.

The precise head kick knockout earned Pereira the UFC’s $50,000 Performance of the Night Bonus for the fifth time since joining the UFC in 2021.

“I’ve been saying all week that I was going to come out and be victorious! I didn’t know how I was going to win, but I knew I was going to leave this Octagon happy,” said Monster Energy’s Pereira upon defending his 205-pound division title at UFC 303 in Las Vegas on Saturday night.

Saturday night’s victory marks the second successful title defense for UFC Men’s Light Heavyweight champion Pereira. The Brazilian earned both defenses by knockout and is now on a four-fight win streak. Over the course of 13 professional fights, Pereira has claimed two UFC Championship titles.

In his previous career, Pereira was a WGP Kickboxing Middleweight Champion of the World. He held Glory MMA Middleweight and Light Heavyweight Champion titles and ranks as a Glory MMA Hall of Famer. Pereira made his UFC debut in November 2021 at UFC 268 and claimed the UFC’s Middleweight Championship title by defeating Israel Adesanya at UFC 281. 

What’s next for Pereira? Asked about possibly moving up to the UFC’s Heavyweight division for a chance to become a three-division champion, the Brazilian answered: “I think that’s in my future. I say it a lot. I’m here, I’m available, and I think that’s in my future.” Stay tuned for more from this history-making MMA phenomenon!

Also on the Main Card, 29-year-old Diego Lopes from Manaus, Brazil, faced off against 32-year-old Dan Ige from Honolulu, Hawaii, in a catchweight bout at 165 pounds. When all was said and done, Lopes emerged as the winner by unanimous decision after three rounds. Earlier on the UFC 303 Main Card, a catchweight fight at 165 pounds between Diego Lopes and Dan Ige replaced the initially slated co-main event.

Monster Energy’s Lopes (25-6) came into the fight after most recently stopping Sodiq Yusuff at UFC 300 in April. The featherweight fighter was supposed to face Brian Ortega at UFC 303. But when Ortega bowed out of the fight, fellow Monster Energy fighter Ige (18-8) stepped in as a replacement with only four hours advance notice. Ige had previously stopped Andre Fili at a UFC Fight Night in February 2024.

In the opening round, Lopes brought the pressure and nearly submitted Ige with a D’Arce arm triangle chokehold. Ige escaped and continued to look for openings to snipe punches. In Round 2, Lopes again dominated on the ground and nearly locked in a choke from behind to earn a submission but proved unable to lock down Ige.

In the final round, Ige’s strikes to the head and body clearly spelled trouble for Lopes. But the Brazilian scored a single leg takedown with two minutes on the clock and kept control of the fight with his superior grappling skills. When all was said and done after three rounds, the judges pronounced Lopes the winner by unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28). 

“All respect to Dan Ige,” said Lopes in his post-fight interview, adding: “Not many guys take a fight on three hours’ notice. Whomever, wherever, however. I was going to fight at 145 pounds. At 4 in the morning it was 155 pounds. Today, I found out the fight was changing again. It doesn’t matter. I will fight anybody!” 

UFC President Dana White commended the two fighters for making the bout happen: “You couldn’t have two bigger studs than these two guys tonight. Incredible.”