Handicapping Potential Light Heavyweight World Title Fight Jan Blachowicz and Jiri Prochazka

Jan Błachowicz Vs Jiri Prochazka

It didn’t take long for the media and the fans to start asking the question, when would Jiri Prochazka get a light heavyweight world title shot against Poland’s Jan Blachowicz?

First of all, Jan still has to successfully defend his strap against Brazilian legend Glover Teixeira later this year. Don’t worry, though, we actually already have you covered for that fight.

Spoiler alert if you didn’t read it:
I have Jan Blachowicz at (-153). I think this is a good number for him here against Glover. Jan’s confidence was already high and then he went out there and without a doubt took out the undefeated Style Bender Israel Adesanya.

The man is a machine and a monster who appears to be in a great place in his head and in his life. I feel like the late 30s can make or break the rest of a man’s life. Maybe I am just trying to tell myself something but you could go one of two ways.

That is when everything starts to fall apart with your body and that is when a lot of people give up and give in to the pain in hopes for a brighter future. If they completely stop doing the activities their bodies are used to and don’t burn the same calories, you get the picture.

I digress.

Mentally, Jan is in an incredible place in his mind and even though I respect and see the potential in Jiri, you can still hear the 27 year old in him. I think this guy will be the world champion one day at 205 pounds and potentially make some noise up in the UFC’s Heavyweight Division.

Does he get past Jan, though, if these two men fight in maybe 6-8 months?

That is a tough one because the Pole is just as big, and he poses the takedown threat. I wasn’t very impressed with what I saw from Jiri on the ground.

I can’t imagine Dominick Reyes is some wizard off of his back, but he was controlling the Czech fighter from the bottom position. The takedown was easy too. Jan did it to a skinny Izzy.

Can he do it to Jiri?

Handicapping Jiri and Jan

I never denied it, but I also wasn’t aware that the Czech Republic and Poland are bordering nations. This would be such a massive fight for Europe! There are some very large men coming from that continent.

I remembering being on Phi Phi Island in Thailand from “The Beach” fame and thinking how at 6’1”, I was now short. I thought I would gain some inches in Thailand but not when 80% of the island is from Europe. Americans don’t travel very well and the Euro’s do. For once in my life, I was shorter than average and I thought it was terrible. I could see over all the Jan’s and Jiri’s standing in front of me.

Okay, so assuming that Jan Blachowicz gets past the 40+ Glover Teixeira, he will likely fight Jiri Prochazka first. Hopefully, the world will have opened back up by then, and we can see this matchup take place in Europe!

MMA is taking over the world. It will be a while, but eventually, fighting will be more popular than soccer or any other kind of footie or football you can imagine. If you’re reading this, then you are already on board this ship.

We are headed north.

I promise you that, and our numbers over the past 6 months of UFC betting back this claim up.

150 UFC plays over the past 6.5 months, and let’s say you bet one unit on every pick. You’re up over 57 units. 91-59 is only 60% but our ROI over that time is at 38%. A big part of this has been the addition of method of victory plays instead of just chasing an underdog in a main event for example.

I remember when I picked Frankie Edgar over Max Holloway, knowing that the New Jersey native didn’t have a very good chance at all, but Max was (-400) or something like that, so I said, hey, go with the dog.

I was losing a lot of main events because of this.

Normally, I wouldn’t play bets like these, but people want action on the big fights, so that’s what I want to give them. I have learned from these mistakes, adjusted my betting strategy accordingly, and now we are rolling!

Please Note:
A simple rule for these method of victory plays is to not get greedy. If you have dog money already on a moneyline, then just take it. There are exceptions to every rule, of course, because there are some one dimensional finishers still in the UFC.

The problem with handicapping and predicting hypothetical fights like Jan vs Jiri and even the scheduled Jan vs Glover is that you are only getting the moneyline in which to compare your cap/betting odds.

In the case of Jiri vs Jan, though, I don’t think I would be betting on a method of victory. This is a tough enough fight to call just trying to predict the “Who” much less the “How.”

Both men are fast starters. I would say that Jiri is definitely the more aggressive of the two men.

He doesn’t counter punch very much. He was getting countered, and then after Dominick Reyes was admiring his work and standing there astonished that Jiri didn’t drop, Prochazka comes forward with an awkward but effective 3 or 4 punch combination.

Jan counters even better than Reyes, but he doesn’t just return with one shot at a time like the kid from Victorville. Blacho comes back with 2, 3, or even 4.

Another thing is the takedown and top control of the Pole paired with what appeared to be a very weak ground game from Jiri. He certainly wasn’t raining down punches when he had the chance. He was getting controlled. He almost got caught in a guillotine. He was taken down easily. There was a lot I didn’t like about that fight, and I’m sure Jiri feels the same way. Is he really going to have time to fix all of those leaks before he fights a guy who is the finished product in Jan Blachowicz?

Jan wasn’t ready for a world title shot at the age of 28. Heck, at the age of 34, he was coming off of losing 4 of 5 fights inside of the Octagon and possibly getting cut from the company.

Jiri is still evolving as a fighter, and while that should be celebrated, we still have to note the tense.

(Ing) not (ed). That is the difference between these two men. One is 28 and the other 38.

We can’t ignore that either. All this talk of evolution and experience is one thing, but the historical data tells us that fighters 10 years younger or more win close to 70% of the time. I still think Jan has the tools to do it.

Could he get slept?

Sure, but I would line this one (-150) for the champ and probably bet on it if we are getting anything closer to even money, should this fight be made. Jan’s ability to take this fight to the mat could play a big role in the fight.

Therefore, it needs to play a role in the handicapping.

(-150) for the champ and (-130) come back for the Czech challenger.

In Conclusion

Wow, this fight would be so fun! Can you imagine it being boring? I guess maybe Jan takes him down and controls the Czech fighter on the mat some of the time, but I don’t see Jiri’s fighting spirit allowing that to happen.

Please Note:
He isn’t the type to accept the bottom position. Acceptance is very important in life, but infighting, one’s ego needs to be strong…like to the point where these guys believe they can beat up anyone on the planet.

I think Jiri has that level of confidence, and he is a true martial artist in that he looks inward and not outward. Pro was a happy man after his fight, no doubt. It was his second UFC fight, his second knockout victory, and his first as a main event fighter.

The last guy to do that was maybe Anderson Silva. Just guessing, but I have a biased mind in that regard.

I still have to line Jan as the favorite here, albeit barely 60/40.

Let’s hope this fight is made between the Czech and the Pole. Two bordering strong and proud European nations collide! Get ready for these potential fights, and as always, keep an eye on those lines with one of my favorite sportsbooks BetOnline.AG!

Mike Pruitt / Author

Mike has been covering sports professionally since 2017 but on the amateur scene for 25 years since when he was 12. Before the internet changed the world, he would keep detailed statistical box scores of NFL and NBA contests, write recaps, and voluntarily commentate games and fights alone in his room. Mike's military experience, Bachelors Degree, and employment thereafter were always rooted in engineering, science, and teaching. Now he enjoys being able to express himself through writing about football, golf, and car racing among other sports but most of all fighting as his life has been rooted in mixed martial arts including competing and teaching for the past 15 years.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.