UFC 275 went down last night (Sat., June 11, 2022) inside Singapore Indoor Arena in Kallang, Singapore, featuring a Light Heavyweight title fight that saw Jiri Prochazka submit Glover Teixeira in the fifth and final round to win the title (see it again here). In the co-main event, Valentina Shevchenko escaped with her women’s Flyweight strap after a tough five-round fight against Taila Santos (highlights).
Biggest Winner: Jiri Prochazka
After five rounds of back and forth action, Prochazka pulled a rabbit out of his hat by securing a rear-naked choke in the waning moments of the fifth and final round. In doing so, not only did he earn consecutive win number 13, he scored his eleventh in a row via stoppage. The fearsome finisher also becomes the 205-pound champion in record time, doing so in just his third fight inside the Octagon. Prochazka was down going into the fifth round, but he was able to hang tough, absorb “Hands of Stone’s” best shots and take advantage of a small opening that a a gassed Teixeira gave him to secure the finish. Now, Prochazka begins his championship run with a huge target on his back after earning his second world title in a major MMA organization.
Runner Up: Zhang Weili
While her rematch against Joanna Jedrzejczyk wasn’t the “Fight of the Year” candidate the first bout offered, Weili left another impression all the same. Indeed, the former women’s Strawweight champion’s seemed to be on track for a repeat performance after the first round before Weili executed a nasty spinning back fist knockout win over “JJ,” knocking her out with the well-timed kill shot halfway through round two. The win snaps “Magnum’s” two-fight losing streak (both title fights) and puts her at the front of the line to challenge current champion, Carla Esparza, later this year. An epic knockout, an extra $50K in the bank and a title shot secured; it truly was a great night for the Chinese-born fighter.
Biggest Loser: Joanna Jedrzejczyk
After 25 months on the sidelines following her first defeat at the hands of Weili, Jedrzejczyk aimed to return stronger than ever in an effort to get revenge and somehow, someway, infiltrate herself back into the title picture. Instead, the former women’s 115-pound title holder went down in flames, getting slept via an epic spinning back fist knockout. Whether or not even her biggest fans want to admit it, Jedrzejczyk hasn’t look good for a long time, racking up a less than stellar 2-5 record since 2017, with four of those losses coming in championship fights. It’s not the type of performance Jedrzejczyk hoped to start her new contract extension with, which is one of the big reasons she opted to call it a career after the loss. But she is still a fan-favorite and is always just a few impressive wins away from getting the spotlight back should she ever decide to cut her retirement short, which I honestly see happening. If that does indeed come to fruition, she would likely return as a Flyweight despite the fact that she came up short against Valentina Shevchenko. If this truly is the end for Jedrzejczyk, it’s not exactly the way the striker envisioned her stellar career coming to a halt after a blistering start to her UFC championship run, as well as her overall MMA journey.
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