Jiri Prochazka talks getting lost on mountain, trek that left toe ‘a little bit black’

Jiri Prochazka is perfectly comfortable being in pitch black for days at a time. But that’s indoors.

The former UFC light heavyweight champ can still feel the effects of an outdoor scare one year ago that left him stumbling near-blind in the wilderness outside Las Vegas. All he has to do is look at his toe.

“I wanted to go to the Las Vegas Mountains, and I found some some top edge like Mount Charleston,” he told AllStar Sport. “So … I went there, and then I realized, I need some more better shoes, better jacket. So I went back, I bought all these things like ski shoes and leather jacket, the Garmin watch, all these things.

“But what was wrong was that I didn’t watch the map well, because the map showed me it’s just [a hike] for a few hours, like maybe six hours. After six hours of walking high altitude, then I realized that I have to come back, or I need to hurry to the end. So I just decided to make it.

“It took me more than 16, 18 hours. And I forgot to take the light with me, because I thought it will be just for six hours. Then I got lost on this mountain.”

Prochazka, who at UFC 300 faces Aleksandar Rakic, eventually made it back to his car and safety. He thought he might have been in the clear before scanning his body for injuries.

“I went back [home], and next day, I realized that my toe on my left leg is a little bit black,” he said. “So I had frostbite, and right now, I feel it’s completely healed, but it took my nails [falling out], and it took six months to [grow] a full new nail and to feel better balance in the leg.”

Prochazka returned to the cage this past November and failed to re-acquire the light heavyweight title he was forced to relinquish in 2022 when he was knocked out by Alex Pereira in a bout for the vacant belt at UFC 295.

The former champ is known for his unusual training methods, punching trees and submitting to sensory deprivation between fights. His scare in the wilderness proved equally as challenging an experience, but one he welcomed as a modern samurai.

Was he scared? Absolutely. But, he added, “the fear is the part of ourselves.”

Check out the interview below.

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