Jiri Prochazka has proven he belongs in the Ultimate Fighting Championship’s light heavyweight division.
The former Rizin Fighting Federation champion survived a shaky opening stanza against Volkan Oezdemir to post an emphatic second-round knockout victory in his promotional debut at UFC 251. That gives the Czech Republic native 11 straight victories and a spot in Sherdog's light heavyweight Top 10 at No. 9. Oezdemir, meanwhile, falls to the bubble at No. 11. Prochazka figures to be an interesting figure to watch at 205 pounds in the coming months.
Of all the championship winners at UFC 251, Petr Yan is in the most unusual position. A brutal stoppage of Jose Aldo earned the Russian the vacant 135-pound belt in Abu Dhabi, but due to a stalemate in voting among Sherdog staff and contributors, “No Mercy” stays put at fourth in the latest bantamweight poll behind the potentially retired Henry Cejudo and perennial contenders Marlon Moraes and Aljamain Sterling.
Meanwhile, welterweight king Kamaru Usman and featherweight ruler Alexander Volkanovski maintained their spots atop the rankings with triumphs over Jorge Masvidal and Max Holloway, respectively. Elsewhere, Rose Namajunas edged Jessica Andrade in a strawweight rematch, allowing her to switch places in the rankings with the Brazilian and take over the No. 2 spot.
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