Jiri Prochazka vs. Aleksandar Rakic prediction | UFC 300 1

Jiri “BJP” Prochazka, 31, the #2 ranked light heavyweight on the roster, makes his return to the octagon following a second-round TKO loss to the now-champion Alex Pereira. That was Jiri’s first loss under the UFC banner, bringing his record to 3-1, with all fights ending inside the distance.

Aleksandar “Rocket” Rakic, 32, is the #5 ranked LHW with a UFC record of 6-2. Most of his early career saw first-round stoppages, but recently, he has gone to round three in his last four fights. Rakic is making his return to the cage for the first time since a knee injury in 2022.

Betting Odds

Rakic opened as a slightly larger favorite but has been bet down throughout the week.

  • Aleksandar Rakic: -125 (BetUS)
  • Jiri Prochazka: +105 (BetUS)


Prochazka’s fighting style can best be described as organized or controlled chaos. He is an unorthodox but wildly athletic and powerful striker. He is a sloppy but persistently strong grappler. And his defense and cardio are both inconsistent yet somehow reliable. Ultimately, Prochazka is about as unpredictable as a fighter can be while still creating the same kind of fight each time out: chaotic.

“BJP” is a large and long kickboxer who lunges in and out of range, throws looping hooks, spinning elbows, and mixes in a steady diet of solid kicks. His striking is a style all to himself and could be described as lacking basic technique. But, because he’s honed and perfected his unique approach for years, the lack of technique does not translate to a lack of success. He tends to excel in fights where he is the more athletic fighter moving forward where he can weaponize pressure and mix in his grappling.

Much like his striking, Jiri’s grappling is built on a foundation of athleticism and natural strength, while also lacking some basic technique. Once again, though, he is able to implement his style regularly in a fight. Lastly is the conundrum of Jiri’s cardio. He often looks gassed after round one- sucking wind and swinging laboredly. However, maybe it’s his fighting spirit that Jiri is able to dig deep and continue to push his chaotic style while keeping his pace for as long as the fight lasts. Untraditional, unpredictable, yet undeniably successful, Jiri’s athletic and chaotic style is a tough fight for anyone at 205.

Rakic, stylistically, is the polar opposite of Prochazka. Rakic is a clean and well-schooled kickboxer who fights with a refined technical approach in the cage. He has an excellent combination of power, technique, and athleticism, which can produce violent finishes. Rakic’s kicking game, specifically, is dynamic and smooth. He uses front kicks and teep kicks to keep range, like a boxer with a jab. While following behind with thudding leg and head kicks that can deal real damage. His kicking game aids him in keeping range which makes him hard to hit while he pieces up his opponents at his pace.

Interestingly, though, for as sound of a kickboxer that Rakic is, he struggles to check leg kicks. The effect of this possibly caused his leg injury that ended his last fight. Rakic’s injury history, namely his most recent ACL tear, will be a popular discussion point in this fight, and for good reason. Rakic is typically light on his feet, uses speed at range, and relies on his athletic base to support his 90% takedown defense. But, if he isn’t 100% following another injury, Rakic may be sacrificing his most valuable attribute: his athleticism. However, if fully healthy, Rakic is a smooth and laser-accurate kickboxer with lethal power from range and the ability to stuff takedown attempts for the full fight.


For the first time in his career, Jiri is likely the more consistent fighter in the matchup. While we never fully can anticipate how Prochazka will fight, we can rely on him being in prime shape, fully healthy, and capable of implementing his game plan. On the other side, we have no idea what kind of physical or mental health state Rakic will be in on Saturday night. 100% vs 100%, I’d line this fight at pick’em.

I expect Jiri to crash distance, look to take away Rakic’s kicking game, and make the fight and ugly slugfest in the pocket and in the clinch. Meanwhile, I’d expect Rakic to play keep-away with athletic lateral movement as he pick’s the hittable Jiri apart from range. However, there is no way to trust that Rakic will be 100%; so, at near pick’em odds, I’ll gladly take Jiri here. I think he is more dangerous, has more ways to win, and, for the first time ever, is the more reliable fighter.

Best Bet: Prochazka to win (+105 at BetUS)

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