This was a picturesque clash of styles. Prochazka's striking was countered by Teixeira's jiu-jitsu, and both men reached beyond their depths to produce a bloody, violent fight where it appeared it would end with the judges making the decision.
That was the case until Prochazka locked in a rear-naked choke in the fifth round. Teixeira tapped with only 28 seconds remaining. Had the round ended, Teixeira would have most likely retained the belt, but he was clearly exhausted in the final stretch. Ironically, if Teixeira had remained on his feet, he could have continued his damage on Prochazka. Instead, Prochazka won the fight on the mat, an extremely unexpected ending.
While Prochazka began his reign as champ, Valentina Shevchenko (23-3 MMA, 12-2 UFC) continued her run.
Shevchenko withstood a physical challenge from Taila Santos (19-2 MMA, 4-2 UFC), who used her strength and grappling to put a legitimate scare into the champ. The turning point happened in the third round, when an accidental butting of heads left Santos barely able to see out of her right eye by the start of the fourth. Shevchenko immediately attacked the weak spot, and controlling the final two rounds allowed her to retain.
Zhang Weili (22-3 MMA, 6-2 UFC) also knocked out Joanna Jedrzejczyk (16-5 MMA, 10-5 UFC) earlier on the 275 card. The victory puts Weili back into a title bout for the strawweight title, as well as marked the end of Jedrzejczyk's career. She left her gloves in the octagon, and announced her retirement after the fight.
UFC 275 was an outrageously compelling card, ultimately serving as the defining moment of Prochazka's career.
This story first published at SI.com/MMA.