Jiri Prochazka surprised Alex Pereira accepted short-notice rematch at UFC 303

Jiri Prochazka didn’t expect light heavyweight champion Alex Pereira to accept defending his title on such short notice at UFC 303.

Pereira (10-2 MMA, 7-1 UFC) will run things back with Prochazka (30-4-1 MMA, 4-1 UFC) in Saturday’s UFC 303 (pay-per-view, ESPN, ESPN+) main event at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.

Both fighters had just two weeks to prepare for their title-fight rematch after the original main event between Conor McGregor and Michael Chandler was scrapped. Prochazka and Pereira were expected to fight possibly Aug. 17 at UFC 305 in Perth, so Prochazka isn’t sure why Pereira accepted to fight him two months earlier.

“I was a little bit surprised by that, I can say yes,” Prochazka said on “The MMA Hour.” “Because I don’t know what was the reason he said yes, if it’s money or something else, but communication with me from the UFC, they gave me some better – I don’t want to be concrete, but we negotiated about better money

“So I don’t know how it was with Alex. But I didn’t know about the money or whatever when I accepted (the fight), so for me this is not so important because the main point is to get the title and to bring it back to the Czech Republic.”

Despite the short-notice nature of the fight, Prochazka relishes the opportunity.

“I believe in that,” Prochazka said. “I was born like a warrior – not I believe in that. I am the warrior, and this is just about when the situation and the things around you come like that, you have to say just yes. To react to what happened because when something happens on the street, you need to react right now. Right here, right now. That’s what I like about short notice because you need to react right now, right here. Show me your best right now. That’s all.”

Prochazka was knocked out by Pereira in their vacant light heavyweight title fight at UFC 295 – a stoppage he initially debated. He rebounded with a knockout of Aleksandar Rakic at UFC 300 and is confident he will avenge his loss to “Poatan.”

“I will win the fight,” Prochazka said. “I will win the fight, and I believe in that, and I will do that. That’s all. I will not step into a fight where I don’t believe in that, in myself. I already accept that I will do everything, and right now is the great chance to show that.”

For more on the card, visit MMA Junkie’s event hub for UFC 303.

Story originally appeared on MMA Junkie