In his to start with UFC key occasion, Aleksandar Rakic picked up arguably the greatest earn of his career.
The gentle heavyweight prospect punished previous title contender Anthony Smith with kicks on the toes and then battered him with floor and pound to acquire a one particular-sided selection soon after three rounds. The scorecards study 30-26, 30-27 and 30-27 with Rakic getting the gain as he moves to 13-2 in his vocation.
“I’m delighted with my functionality in opposition to a veteran and a previous title challenger,” Rakic stated right after obtaining his hand elevated in victory. “Everybody underestimates my wrestling and my grappling. I showed the environment and I confirmed the division that I’m not only a hazardous striker, I can wrestle, I can grapple, I can dominate on the ground. These guys require to just take me really serious induce I’m in the top rated five now.”
Like he was chopping down a tree, Rakic was attacking Smith’s basis with a brutal sequence of kicks to the guide leg in the course of the opening round. Even though Smith did his most effective to counter with a series of leg kicks of his personal, Rakic created that the centerpiece of his approach in the early exchanges.
As the leg kick assault continued, Rakic essentially dropped Smith to the floor with two in a row that observed the former title contender get twisted around right before slipping to the mat. Despite performing a whole lot of destruction on the feet, Rakic was additional than pleased to get into a grappling trade with Smith, which kept him from absorbing any extra kicks for the relaxation of the round.
Immediately after a rough commence, Smith arrived out firing in the 2nd round and he related with a effective suitable overhand appropriate that blasted Rakic on the jaw. Regretably as Smith closed the distance, Rakic was ready to toss him down to the canvas prior to next him to the floor the place he landed on top.
Rakic was content peppering away with short punches as he pressed down on Smith when driving him towards the cage, which thwarted any submission makes an attempt from the base.
With 5 minutes remaining, Smith knew he experienced to get a complete so he arrived out aggressive in the last round but Rakic made him spend for it. The Austrian unleashed a different collection of kicks, initial to the leg and then to the human body and head.
Smith appeared to be rattled with Rakic surging ahead in an attempt to rating the knockout but the almost 50-battle veteran was good ample to grab onto his opponent right before dragging the battle to the floor. Nonetheless, Rakic remained in total control as he just battered Smith on the ground until time ran out.
Although he was coming off a razor-close break up choice reduction in his previous outing, Rakic made a assertion with his victory in excess of Smith at UFC Vegas 8. He’s now seeking to set his identify into title competition with a new gentle heavyweight winner about to be crowned at UFC 253 in September.
“You know what’s future. The belt is future,” Rakic explained in his publish-battle job interview. “[Dominick]Reyes-[Jan] Blachowicz, winner, it is me. This is the future for Aleksandar Rakic.”
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