Pereira vs Prochazka Predictions: ‘Poatan’ can win the rematch

 | Thursday 27th June 2024, 14:24pm

Thursday 27th June 2024, 14:24pm

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UFC Light Heavyweight Champion Alex Pereira defends his title against former titlist Jiri Prochazka in a rematch at UFC 303. The bout takes place this Saturday, June 29 at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada. TNT Sports 1 will carry the show in the UK.

Here are my Pereira vs Prochazka predictions ahead of an exciting title collision.

Pereira vs Prochazka Tips

  • Pereira to win @ 8/13

UFC 303 was originally supposed to be headlined by Conor McGregor’s first fight in three years. But an injury to ‘Notorious’ scotched his scheduled fight with Michael Chandler. As much of a big-money bonanza as that bout would have been, our new main event is far more interesting from a purist’s perspective. 

McGregor has not won a UFC contest in four-and-a-half years and is more of a media personality than a fighter these days. Incredibly, Pereira and Prochazka’s entire UFC careers have taken place since McGregor was last victorious in the Octagon. 

While the company figurehead has faltered, ‘Poatan’ has found time to become a two-weight UFC champion and is currently ranked-fourth on the company pound-for-pound list. Prochazka has ascended to the status of UFC Light Heavyweight kingpin too. He only lost the title due to injury before failing to overcome Pereira for the vacant belt after Jamahal Hill’s reign ended due to his own achilles tear.

The previous meeting between Peireira and Prochazka took place at UFC 275 in June 2022. The bout began with ‘Poatan’ pinging home some hurtful leg kicks before taking hold with a front choke. Prochazka rallied with a takedown from that position and wriggled out of the submission.

Pereira kept it tight on the ground showing fine Brazilian jiu-jitsu to try and avoid attacks. Prochazka was trying to make things happen but rarely got his hands free enough to trouble his co-challenger. Pereira scrambled to his feet and caught his opponent with a short right hand to end the round on top. 

The second session saw Prochazka switch-hitting, moving between southpaw and orthodox to try and unsettle ‘Poatan’ on the feet. ‘BJP’ was the one making things happen in the first couple of minutes, though none of his pressure or focus on body kicks really gained much ground. A Pereira jab landed followed by a kick to the body. Prochazka’s response was to go aggressive, landing a left hook and a right hand. 

Another huge right landed with Pereira’s back to the fence. The Brazilian was hurt and Prochazka emptied his tank trying to secure the stoppage. With the Czech fighter tiring, Pereira was able to score with leg kicks once again. 

A glancing hook landed on Pereira’s chin, encouraging ‘BJP’ to rush forward. ‘Poatan’ took his chance with a lightning right-left combination, sending his victim sprawling. A series of elbows caused Prochazka to fall back and the referee jumped in somewhat prematurely to stop the fight. 

You never want to see a fight end with a fighter permanently damaged or unnecessarily hurt. But the stoppage did arrive too swiftly in my view. Prochazka was manoeuvring himself on the ground, pulling Pereira’s legs down to try and defend himself. He was still in the fight and while it might not have lasted much longer, Pereira had already been given more than one chance to clear his head during the bout. The general credo in combat sports is that the fight should be stopped when a fighter is not intelligently defending themselves. Prochazka was.

But McGregor and Chandler’s loss is Prochazka’s gain as he now gets another crack at his conqueror. Despite lasting just shy of two rounds, the first meeting provided plenty of entertainment. It was competitive the whole way until the stoppage and fans will be hoping for more of the same here.

Prochazka has fought once since then, scooping Performance of the Night honours for a second-round TKO of Aleksandar Rakic. Pereira has also impressed in the wake of their initial fight, stopping former champion Jamahal Hill in a shade over three minutes as recently as April.

An excellent first encounter? Two men in fine form? A legitimate reason to stage a rematch? This UFC 303 headliner ticks every box you could ask for. So much so that it is hard to believe this main event is a replacement fight.

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Pereira vs Prochazka Fight Odds

‘Poatan’ is your 8/13 favourite in this one, reflective of his status and victory in their last set-to. The Brazilian has an implied probability of 61.9%. Prochazka is a 5/4 shot to get it done or 44.4% as a percentage.

Full UFC 303 Card

Main Card

Alex Pereira vs. Jiri Prochazka 

Brian Ortega vs. Diego Lopes 

Mayra Bueno Silva vs. Macy Chiasson 

Anthony Smith vs. Roman Dolidze 

Ian Machado Garry vs. Michael Page

Prelims

Joe Pyfer vs. Marc-Andre Barriault 

Charles Jourdain vs. Jean Silva 

Cub Swanson vs. Andre Fili 

Payton Talbott vs. Yanis Ghemmouri

Early Prelims

Michelle Waterson-Gomez vs. Gillian Robertson 

Andrei Arlovski vs. Martin Buday 

Rei Tsuruya vs. Carlos Hernandez 

Ricky Simon vs. Vinicius Oliveira

Pereira vs Prochazka Predictions

Prochazka was game in their first meeting. He kept it interesting and was able to land punches on Pereira. But they were pockets of success and, the takedown aside, he generally looked second-best in every department.

I think the challenger will make it interesting, but no more than that. Pereira knows his enemy now. His considered approach and wealth of skills in every facet of MMA will see him through in this one. I am going for a fairly dominant Pereira victory. ‘Poatan’ to win is 8/13.

You can find all our latest UFC betting tips and analysis at our Betfred Insights UFC page

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