Author: Miroslav Obluk, Libor Kalous
What will the form be?PHOTO: with the consent of Jiří Procházka
He does not bask in the light of the cameras, he is rather a gray eminence of Czech MMA, yet he significantly changes the nature of the game. Elite grappler Jan Stach is among the top in his field. He wrestles successfully, studies abroad. He subsequently passes on his experience to his wards, among whom are David Dvořák, Matěj Peňáz, Jakub Dohnal, Václav Holota, Tereza Bledá and, since the beginning of the summer, Jiří Procházka. “Jiří made a big impression. I’ve never seen how he can move, what kind of reactions he has,” said Stach in an interview with kaocko.cz about the warrior, who is awaiting a title fight at UFC 295 on November 11.
How did Jiří move during your collaboration? When did you do the biggest piece of work?
I think that we did the most work in the summer, when I took Jiří to various camps with us. We began to systematically focus on various things, techniques, and now, in the final phase, we were fine-tuning the details that Jiří already has under his skin. It’s hard for me to talk about any progress, given that I wasn’t part of the previous preparations, but I feel like we’ve done some work (smile). Jiří made a big impression on me. The way he can move, the way he reacts, I’ve never seen before. He tuned in great for that match, transformed into a completely different wrestler.
Did he shut himself off into his own universe?
Not at all, he tuned out in motion. The way he was able to move, react to counters felt almost inhuman and was a huge leap from how he works in normal training mode. I think that one cannot last in this mode for a long time, with that dynamism and intensity. It is a very fascinating sight for me.
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How do you explain this development?
I think it’s due to his mentality, his experience. A lot of wrestlers talk about the fact that they are willing to die in the cage, but Jiří is one of the few who really mean it (smile). I think he is able to be guided by this idea to a level that is incomprehensible to a normal person.
Did it surprise you in any way?
I guess I didn’t have any expectations that it would be one way or the other. It was more about getting to know each other. I can’t say that he surprised me, rather I studied how it works. I quite enjoy his style in those final stages of preparation. He is so playful, unrestrained, does not follow exact instructions. He tries it once or twice, then looks for ways around it, to do it differently, to connect it to another system. Thanks to this, Jiří can incorporate those things into his game faster.
Did you pull together even though you are a different weight?
Sure, we already tried it years ago, but I have very few heavy weights in the gym. Most of the guys are around 77 kilos, so I couldn’t offer him as many quality sparring partners who were similar in weight to him. But as part of the camps, I started with him from certain positions where the precision of work was important to me. The goal was for Jiří to learn what can be done in those situations.