Some argued Alex Pereira’s knockout win over Jiri Prochazka seven months ago was a premature stoppage. But the UFC light heavyweight champion left no doubt in their rematch.

Pereira defeated Prochazka via TKO at the 0:13 mark of the second round to retain the 205-pound title in the UFC 303 main event Saturday night at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.

The 36-year-old Brazilian floored Prochazka with a left high kick and finished him with punches on the ground.


Pereira also scored a knockdown via left hook at the end of the first round, but Prochazka was saved by the horn.

“I’ve been saying all week that I was gonna come out here and be victorious,” Pereira said through an interpreter in his postfight interview. “I didn’t know how I was gonna win, but I knew I was gonna come here, and I was gonna leave this Octagon happy.”

Pereira and Prochazka squared off for the vacant light heavyweight title at UFC 295 last November at New York’s Madison Square Garden. Pereira won by knockout in the second round to become the ninth two-division champion in UFC history.

The rematch between Pereira and Prochazka was booked on 16 days’ notice after Conor McGregor withdrew from the original UFC 303 main event against Michael Chandler due to a broken toe. Pereira, who’s from Brazil but fights out of Connecticut, was in Australia on a seminar tour when the UFC offered him the fight.

Pereira has now defended the belt twice since beating Prochazka seven months ago. He knocked out former champ Jamahal Hill in the first round of the UFC 300 main event in April. Pereira recently suffered two broken toes, one before and one during the Hill fight. The ex-UFC middleweight champion is 4-0 since moving up to 205 pounds last summer, a decision prompted by a knockout loss to rival Israel Adesanya in Pereira’s first 185-pound title defense.

Pereira reiterated that he believes he’ll one day move up to heavyweight and challenge for a third title.

“I think that’s in my future,” Pereira said. “I said that last time I was here. I said it a lot. There didn’t seem to be too much interest in the organization. But I’m here, I’m available, and I do think that’s in my future.”

Prochazka, a former UFC light heavyweight champion, is 1-2 in his last three outings after beginning his Octagon career with three straight wins. The Czech Republic native earned another shot at Pereira by finishing Aleksandar Rakic at UFC 300.

Prochazka captured 205-pound gold with a come-from-behind submission of Glover Teixeira in June 2022. However, he relinquished the belt later that year due to an injury. The first loss to Pereira was Prochazka’s first fight back after beating Teixeira.