UFC 295 Preview: Prochazka vs Pereira
Written By: Natasha Turkington
Bovada welcomes back our guest pundit, Natasha Turkington. This week, Natasha weighs in on the UFC 295 action happening this weekend. You can follow Natasha on Twitter at @natashaturk.
The UFC’s previous trips to Madison Square Garden have produced tremendous, memorable moments and we are eager for more this Saturday November 11.
The original main event pitted heavyweight champion Jon Jones against divisional star Stipe Miocic, but an injury to Jones led to the cancellation of that bout. It also led to the announcement of Tom Aspinall vs Sergei Pavlovich, with the Briton and Russian now squaring off for the interim title on Saturday.
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The wait is over and UFC 295 is upon us, and while the original main event has been put on hold, this card is an absolute banger with a host of high-quality matchups that will have immediate divisional ramifications.
Here is how UFC 295 shapes up this Saturday night –
Jiri Prochazka vs Alex Pereira – for vacant UFC light heavyweight title
Tom Aspinall vs Sergei Pavlovich – for interim heavyweight title
Jessica Andrade vs Mackenzie Dern
Matt Frevola vs Benoit Saint-Denis
Diego Lopes vs Pat Sabatini
Matt Schnell vs Steve Ecreg
Tabatha Ricci vs Loopy Godinez
Nazim Sadykhov vs. Viacheslav Borshchev
Prochazka vs Pereira
A November appearance at MSG has become an annual thing for Pereira, who won his debut over Andreas Michailidis at UFC 268 two years ago, and then followed it up by winning the middleweight title from Israel Adesanya at UFC 281 last year. He lost the title to “The Last Stylebender” in their rematch earlier this year, then made the successful transition to light heavyweight with a split decision win over former champ Jan Blachowicz, setting up this clash with Prochazka.
Prochazka, the UFC’s first ever Czech champion, had to relinquish the title due to injury in 2022, and he will bid to regain it here. Meanwhile, Pereira is going for two-weight-champion status, having held the middleweight title from November 2022 until April 2023.
And, this is one hell of a matchup between two knockout experts that operate in completely different styles. Prochazka acts on instinct and feel with dangerous unpredictability, while Pereira is more organized and fundamentally a fighter.
Both fighters benefit from explosive power to finish the other and, could potentially take over this division for a considerable amount of time.
If Pereira defeats Jiri Prochazka to win the vacant light heavyweight title, he will make even more history by becoming champion in a second weight class.
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Pavlovich vs Aspinall
British UFC star Tom Aspinall is fast becoming a must-watch fighter in the UFC’s heavyweight division and believes he has a key advantage if he is to ever face UFC heavyweight champion Jon Jones.
In an interview this week when asked about his chances of beating one of MMA’s greatest ever fighters, Aspinall said – “I believe I can beat him otherwise I wouldn’t be asking for the fight, I’d never take a fight I didn’t think I could win. I am a lot younger and a lot fresher than him. I think he has a lot of miles on the clock, and I have to use that to my advantage. I believe I am slightly more athletic and bigger than him but it’s hard to look through his resume and say he has any holes. I can’t say enough good things about Jon Jones’ MMA game, it’s incredible.”
However, before Tom Aspinall can think about facing Jones, he takes on Sergei Pavlovich.
The Russian MMA star lost his UFC debut against Alistair Overeem in November 2018 before picking up three consecutive first-round KO wins over unheralded opponents. Pavlovich became a genuine heavyweight contender when he knocked out UFC fan favourite Derrick Lewis last year.
If Aspinall emerges from this contest with the victory, he will then be in a prime position to challenge for the full title at some point in 2024.
I cannot wait!!