It ends in controversy, but Alex Pereira ultimately makes history at UFC 295 by joining a select group of fighters to win UFC championships in two weight classes — just as Pereira did in GLORY Kickboxing.
Pereira scored a second-round finish of Jiri Prochazka at UFC 295 to become the new UFC light heavyweight champion.
Pereira started the fight off with leg kicks as he pressed forward to take control, doing damage to Prochazka's left leg in the first couple of minutes. Prochazka attempted to grapple and pin Pereira against the fence, but Pereira locked a guillotine in, which appeared tight until Prochazka freed himself about 40 seconds later. Prochazka was on top when the fighters were grounded, but his offense didn't appear to be as effective.
Prochazka looked to come after Pereira in the second round with his awkward style and angling of his strikes, but it was clear that the leg kicks Preiera delivered int he first did their damage. But as the two traded near the cage, Prochazka appeared to be getting the better of the former GLORY Kickboxing champ.
With about a minute left in the second round, Prochazka came forward with punches but ate a counter from Pereira. Prochazka went for a takedown as Pereira rained down blows but fell into a mount, where referee Marc Goddard waved off the fight.
Prochazka got up and immediately protested the stoppage, but it was too late. In the post-fight interviews, however, Prochazka did not comment against the finish.
UFC 295: Pros react to Jiri Prochazka vs. Alex Pereira
This was Prochazka's attempt to re-gain the championship he never lost inside the Octagon. Prior to tonight, Prochazka had most recently fought at UFC 275 in June 2022, where he pulled off a comeback, fifth-round submission of Glover Teixeira to win the UFC light heavyweight championship. Prochazka, however, was forced to vacate the title later that year due to injury.
Pereira earned this title shot off a win over former champion Jan Blachowicz at UFC 291 in July. Almost exactly one year ago in Madison Square Garden, Pereira pulled off his own last-round stunner, capturing the UFC middleweight championship by becoming the first man to finish Israel Adesanya in MMA. Pereira, however, dropped the 185-pound title back to Adesanya at UFC 287 five months later.