“I am standup guy, and he’s ground game guy,” Prochazka said. “That’s all.”
While there is an element of truth there, it’ll surely be a bit more complicated than that when Teixeira defends his UFC light heavyweight title against Prochazka in the main event in Singapore.
Teixeira is known for his durability and has power in his hands, in addition to his wrestling and grappling prowess. He’s also writing one of MMA’s best Cinderella stories, winning the belt in his 40s long after he was written off in the division.
Prochazka, meanwhile, is one of the most diverse and creative strikers at this level of MMA in a long time. ESPN ranks Teixeira No. 8 on its list of best pound-for-pound MMA fighters in the world and No. 1 at light heavyweight. Prochazka is No. 4 at light heavyweight.
Teixeira (33-7) became the oldest first-time champion in UFC history when he beat Jan Blachowicz for the title at UFC 267 last October. The Brazil native is the second-oldest UFC champion ever, behind Randy Couture. Teixeira, 42, has won six straight and first challenged for the title, a loss to Jon Jones, in 2014.
Prochazka (28-3-1) has won 12 straight, including his first two in the UFC. The Czech Republic native has finished an incredible 10 in a row via KO/TKO. Prochazka, 29, is coming off a second-round spinning back elbow knockout of Dominick Reyes in May 2021, a Knockout of the Year contender. “Denisa” is the former light heavyweight champion of Japan’s Rizin Fighting Federation promotion.
In the co-main event, Valentina Shevchenko will defend her UFC women’s flyweight title against Taila Santos. ESPN has Shevchenko (22-3) ranked as the top pound-for-pound women’s MMA fighter in the world. With a win, the 34-year-old would pass Ronda Rousey for the most successful title defenses ever in one division among UFC women’s champions. Santos (19-1), a 28-year-old from Brazil, has won four in a row.
Also on the card, former UFC women’s strawweight champions Zhang Weili and Joanna Jedrzejczyk face off in a rematch of their Fight of the Year contender from 2020 and red-hot knockout artist Andre Fialho meets Jake Matthews in a welterweight bout.
Follow along as Brett Okamoto, Marc Raimondi and Jeff Wagenheim recap the action from Singapore or watch the fights on ESPN+ PPV.
UFC 275 results
Welterweight: Jack Della Maddalena (12-2, 2-0 UFC) def. Ramazan Emeev (20-6, 5-3 UFC) by TKO (Watch on ESPN+)
Della Maddalena made quick work of Emeev in Singapore with a first round finish. More to come from Singapore in a bit.
Men’s featherweight: Josh Culibao (10-1-1, 2-1-1 UFC) def. Seungwoo Choi (10-5, 3-4 UFC) by split decision (Watch on ESPN+)
Culibao scored a first-round knockout. (Almost.) He had a second-round KO. (Practically.) He got choked out in Round 3. (Nearly.) In an all-action fight with several dangerous moments for each man, the 28-year-old Australian went the distance to earn a narrow win.
Culibao dropped and badly hurt Choi in the first two rounds, but the South Korean survived and even landed damaging blows late in the first round and was himself briefly chasing a finish. Then, in Round 3, Choi scored a takedown, seized back control and threatened with a rear-naked choke. But Culibao defended well.
All three judges scored the bout 29-28, with two giving it to Culibao, who won his second in a row after a loss and draw had marred his perfect record.
Choi, 29, has lost two in a row.
Lightweight: Maheshate (7-1, 1-0 UFC) def. Steve Garcia (12-5, 1-2 UFC) by knockout (Watch on ESPN+)
Maheshate sends Steve Garcia to the canvas with just one punch at UFC 275.
Who needs two names when you have power in your hands like Maheshate?
The top Chinese prospect turned Garcia’s lights off with a massive right hand, resulting in a knockout victory at 1:14 of the first round. With Garcia coming forward recklessly, Maheshate guided a straight right to his jaw and Garcia faceplanted, unconscious on impact.
“Like I said in my prefight interviews, I will use my overhand right to finish the fight,” Maheshate said. “And I did it.”
Garcia actually landed a big combination that hurt Maheshate in the opening seconds, but Garcia might have tried a bit too hard to follow up. He came forward and Maheshate dropped him with a right hand. Garcia recovered but pushed ahead with some missed punches carelessly — and Maheshate made him pay. The second time, Garcia did not get up.
Maheshate, 22, is the third-youngest fighter on the roster and the youngest lightweight in the UFC. He was the first Chinese fighter to earn a UFC contract from Dana White’s Contender Series, beating Achilles Estremadura last November. A 30-year-old from New Mexico, Garcia has dropped two of three in the UFC.
Middleweight: Brendan Allen (19-5, 7-2 UFC) def. Jacob Malkoun (6-2, 2-2 UFC) by unanimous decision (Watch on ESPN+)
Allen, 26, narrowly avoided an upset loss at the hands of Australia’s Malkoun, but ultimately managed to churn out a decision win behind unanimous 29-28 judges’ scorecards.
Malkoun had tremendous success with the single-leg takedown and became the first fighter in UFC middleweight history to record at least six takedowns in three consecutive fights. He took Allen down in every round of the fight, although he also struggled to land any real offense from those positions. Allen reversed position on Malkoun several times and landed some strong elbows from the top position — particularly in the third round.
That was likely the difference in the scores. According to UFC stats, Malkoun banked over seven minutes of control time in the fight — compared with 3:24 of control for Allen — but Allen landed more than double the total strikes.
“I felt I was more active and I was trying to hurt him,” Allen said. “He was just hugging every time.”
Men’s bantamweight: Kyung Ho Kang (18-9 1 NC, 7-3 1 NC UFC) def. Batgerel Danaa (12-4, 3-3 UFC) by unanimous decision (Watch on ESPN+)
Kang’s nickname is “Mr. Perfect,” and the only question is whether it is an homage to his piston jab or his relentless leg kicks. Both marked up and slowed down Danaa significantly as Kang pulled away for a clear decision (29-28 on all three cards).
Kang, 34 and from South Korea, controlled distance throughout and weathered Danaa’s powerful attacks. Kang, who also had to deal with referee Thomas Fann essentially ignoring what appeared to be an illegal knee by Danaa in Round 2, has won four of his last five fights.
Danaa, a 32-year-old from Mongolia who trains at Jackson Wink MMA in Albuquerque, New Mexico, fought well early but was slowed by his opponent’s crisp and consistent attacks. He became desperate later on, flinging powerful shots that Kang could quickly evade as Danaa lost his second in a row.
Strawweight: Silvana Gomez Juarez (11-4, 1-2 UFC) def. Liang Na (19-6, 0-2 UFC) by TKO (Watch on ESPN+)
Silvana Gómez Juárez knocks out Liang Na with an incredible flurry of punches.
Gomez Juarez might have been fighting for her job, as she was winless coming in this weekend. She saved her spot on the UFC roster in about as emphatic a way as possible.
Gomez Juarez blasted Na with massive punches, putting her to sleep for a knockout victory at 1:22 of the first round. It was Gomez Juarez’s first UFC victory. Gomez Juarez landed an overhand right that put Na on her butt. Na got up, and Gomez landed a left hook that put Na down for good. Referee Steve Perceval quickly stepped in.
“So happy,” Gomez Juarez. “I dreamed about it. I visualized it.”
Gomez Juarez, 37, snapped a two-fight UFC losing streak. The Argentina-born fighter, who lives and trains in Tijuana, Mexico, is a 12-year pro who has fought in places like Poland, Brazil and Mexico before getting a shot at the UFC. Na, a 25-year-old from China, has dropped two in a row and is still looking for her first UFC win.
Women’s featherweight: Joselyne Edwards (11-4, 2-2 UFC) def. Ramona Pascual (6-4, 0-2 UFC) by unanimous decision (Watch on ESPN+)
Panama’s Edwards picked up her second win inside the Octagon, behind a solid three-round effort over Pascual. Edwards defended all but one of Pascual’s takedown attempts, maintained distance on the feet and went to work with her superior kickboxing en route to judges’ scores of 30-27, 29-28 and 29-28. According to UFC Stats, Edwards out-landed Pascual in total strikes, 150 to 64.
Pascual did have a moment in the opening round when she hurt Edwards with a left kick to the body, followed by a left head kick. Edwards survived, however, and went on to dominate the second and third rounds. She never had Pascual hurt, but she expertly dictated range and landed front kicks to the body and leg kicks at will. She improved to 2-2 in the UFC with the win. This was her first UFC appearance at 145 pounds. Her previous three took place in the 135-pound bantamweight division.
Still to come:
(c) = defending champion