Moments after the opening bell in the UFC 251 featured prelim fight, it was clear Jiri Prochazka's Octagon debut would be a memorable one. After awkward movement, some scary moments and a bit of taunting, Prochazka scored a brutal knockout of former light heavyweight contender Volkan Oezdemir in the UFC's Fight Island debut from Abu Dhabi's Yas Island on Saturday.
Prochazka came out after the opening bell moving in unusual ways and often looking away from Oezdemir when his opponent would manage to land any shots. After landing an early combination, Prochazka struck a karate pose as he continued taunting and talking to Oezdemir throughout a competitive opening round.
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Round 2 did not last long as Prochazka landed a left head kick that stunned Oezdemir and followed up with a brutal flurry of strikes, culminating in a crushing right hand that left Oezdemir out cold. It was a moment that showed why so many were high on the future of the 27-year-old up-and-comer.
Prochazka entered the Octagon a veteran of Japan's Rizin promotion, where he had scored a series of recent knockouts over notable names such as "King Mo" Muhammad Lawal, Fabio Maldonado and C.B. Dollaway. In 27 victories, Prochazka now has 24 knockout victories, though none bigger than the shocking stoppage win over Oezdemir to announce his arrival in the UFC.