Prochazka knocks Oezdemir out cold in debut on UFC 251 prelims


UFC light-heavyweight Jiri Prochazka after his successful organizational debut.

Jiri Prochazka lived up to the hype.

The former Rizin Fighting Federation light-heavyweight champion knocked out Volkan Oezdemir in devastating fashion in the featured preliminary card bout at UFC 251 on Fight Island in Abu Dhabi.

The 27-year-old from the Czech Republic has a unique fighting style and has been among the more highly regarded mixed martial artists outside the UFC for a couple years. He showed exactly why against a well-rounded veteran knockout artist like Oezdemir.

Prochazka has now won 11 consecutive fights, with 10 of those wins coming by knockout or TKO, and has lost just once in his past 23 fights. He also holds wins over UFC veterans C.B. Dollaway and Fabio Maldonado, Olympic gold medallist judoka Satoshi Ishii, and former Strikeforce champion Muhammed “King Mo” Lawal.

The 205-pound division is always starving for new contenders.

Oezdemir was ranked No. 7 in the division heading into the bout, which makes Prochazka an instant contender. It also tells you how highly the UFC matchmakers thought of Prochazka since debuting fighters rarely get paired with ranked opponents their first time out.

Prochazka was one of three fighters on the prelims to earn a stoppage victory.

Here are the complete UFC 251 preliminary card results:

— Jiri Prochazka def Volkan Oezdemir by knockout
— Muslim Salikhov def. Elizeu Zaleski dos Santos by split decision
— Makwan Amirkhani def. Danny Henry by submission (anaconda choke)
— Leonardo Santos def. Roman Bogatov by unanimous decision
— Marcin Tybura def. Maxim Grishin by unanimous decision
— Raulian Paiva def. Zhalgas Zhumagulov by unanimous decision
— Karol Rosa def. Vanessa Melo by unanimous decision
Davey Grant def. Martin Day by knockout

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