Jiri Prochazka reveals the samurai who inspired him to follow the warrior code

  • Tom Ward

UFC light heavyweight champion Jiri Prochakza revealed Miyamoto Musashi is his favourite samurai in Japanese history – after reading his classic ‘The Book of Five Rings’.

And Prochazka said Musashi was the person who inspired him to follow the warrior code, with the Czech hard man incorporating it into all aspects of his daily life.

Prochazka won the 205lbs belt in just his third fight with the promotion, submitting former champ Glover Teixeira at the end of the fifth and final round.

The two light heavyweights put on a fight of the year contender, but it was Prochazka who ultimately came out on top.

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And he credits the legendary swordsman Musashi with totally changing his way of life in general.

Prochazka exclusively told GiveMeSport.com: “I don’t know a lot of samurai, just a few warriors, true warriors.

“But I think the most important person in my life is Miyamoto Musashi because of his book and his life.

Jiri Prochazka is the UFC light heavyweight champion

“For me, he was so inspirational. That’s why everybody is talking about me watching all the samurai movies and all this stuff. But it’s not like that.

“It’s not like that, it’s nothing more than I read the book, and I started to include these rules in my life.

“Because I know it’s functional, it’s simple, and it’s powerful. And that’s the paradox because the simplest things are the strongest.”

Prochazka is of course referring to The Book of Five Rings, which Musashi wrote while on his travels around Japan in 1645.

Like the samurai of old, he was seen sporting an iconic topknot during his fight with Teixeira in the main event of UFC 275 at the Singapore Indoor Stadium in Kallang on June 12.

Jiri Prochazka in action against Glover Teixeira

Asked why he got rid of his rather unique hairstyle, Prochazka said: “What was the reason I cut it off? I don’t want to speak about that. I don’t want to speak about the reason or the meaning behind the haircut.

“That for me was something that was very spiritual but I don’t need it right now. I don’t need it right now. Maybe later but this is just my personal take on it.

“I like to have my hair like this. Maybe I’ll change it later.”

Prochazka, a former RIZIN champion, remarkably only made his UFC debut two years ago.

And he has been keeping a close eye on the division as he recovers from surgery – including Magomed Ankalaev’s recent win over Anthony Smith.

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Prochazka pointed out: “I think the way that he won was not down to him. It was nothing special. It was just about Anthony Smith’s mistakes.

“Maybe he was injured or I don’t know what happened. It doesn’t matter. But it was because of Anthony Smith’s injury.

“The paradox is Anthony Smith said a lot of, not trash, but he analysed my fight with Glover like it was the worst fight ever or the worst performance ever.

“But it doesn’t matter, he lost.”

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