Is Jiri Prochazka a real samurai? Understand the relationship between Alex Poatan's rival and the Japanese warriors

Tcheco follows the samurai philosophy with eight pillars that direct his actions inside and outside the octagon; he faces Poatan at UFC 303

Jiri Prochazka reveals 'transformation' after three days without eating and in the dark. Photo: Reproduction/Twitter/@jiri_bjp

Jiri Prochazka reveals 'transformation' after three days without eating and in the dark. Photo: Reproduction/Twitter/@jiri_bjp

In the world of fighting, the figure of the fighter who intimidates and provokes his opponents is common. But in the light heavyweight scenario (up to 93kg.), Jiri Prochazka stands out for following a distinct path, closer to the samurai philosophy than the aggressive stance common in sport. He faces Alex Poatán in revenge in UFC 303 next Saturday (29).

Nicknamed the 'Czech Samurai' by fans and media alike, Jiri boasts a calm and collected demeanor both inside and outside the octagon. This characteristic, added to his admiration for the Bushido Code and the study of the legendary book 'The Book of Five Rings' by Miyamoto Musashi, raises questions: Jiri Prochazka Is it really a modern samurai?

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The former champion's journey with samurai mysticism began about eight years ago, when his trainer gifted him with 'The Book of Five Rings'.

The work, a treatise on strategy and martial arts, especially kenjutsu (Japanese swordsmanship), awakened in the fighter a fascination that remains with him to this day.

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The principles of the book, timeless and adapted in the book “Bushido: The Soul of Japan” by Inazō Nitobe, guide Prochazka’s life. The samurai code, with its eight pillars – justice, courage, mercy, politeness, honesty, honor, loyalty and self-control – permeates their actions inside and outside of fights.

It is impossible, however, that Jiri adopted the method used by a samurai, considering that 'Japanese warriors' provided military services until the 19th century, as well as teaching their bases. Thus, the stance is only linked to philosophy.

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The biggest example was in May this year, when the Czech had an unusual training method: three days in complete darkness, without food, internet connection or any contact with the outside world.

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In June 2022, Prochazka won the UFC light heavyweight belt by defeating Glover Teixeira. However, months later, a serious shoulder injury forced him to relinquish the title.

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After a turbulent return to the octagon, with a knockout defeat to Alex Poatán in the vacant belt fight, he bounced back with an impressive knockout over Aleksandr Rakic No. UFC 300. Now, the Czech is preparing for a rematch against the Brazilian in edition 303.

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