UFC 295 fight week is officially here and two titles are on the line. Live from Madison Square Garden in New York, the UFC will crown a new light heavyweight champion.
The main event of the evening will be a light heavyweight title bout between Jiří Procházka and Alex Pereira. The 205-pound gold has been vacant since July after Jamahal Hill suffered a rupture in his achiles tendon.
Procházka previously held the title for 164 days from mid-June 2022. He was also forced to vacate the title following a shoulder injury but he looks to reclaim the gold.
Pereira made his move from middleweight to light heavyweight in July 2023 at UFC 291. For his first fight in the division, Pereira went up against dominant former champion, Jan Blachowicz, and he won via split decision. All that has led to his title opportunity against Procházka.
Prior to that, Pereira was in a heated feud with former middleweight champion, Israel Adesanya. Ahead of UFC 295, the promotion has made the pair's first match available for free.
Watch Alex Pereira vs. Israel Adesanya 1 for free
Adesanya had been middleweight champion since October 2019, and already had five successful title defenses. At UFC 281, Adesanya would make his sixth title defense against a man he was all too familiar with - Pereira.
The two had history from their kickboxing career and, following a transition to mixed martial arts, Pereira quickly impressed the matchmakers and found himself going up against Adesanya once more.
Tensions were running high when the two met on that fateful night at Madison Square Garden. The fight appeared to be set to go the distance but, in the closing round, Pereira would deliver a barrage of punches to get the TKO victory.
This was a major upset but, with the victory, Pereira showed that he is certainly not one to counted out. Pereira has since moved on from the 185-pound division and its gold but now looks to replicate that stardom in the 205-pound division.