Aleksandar Rakic dominated against Anthony Smith and won the main event at the UFC Fight Night held in Las Vegas, Nevada.
All three judges scored in Rakic’s favor, two 30-27 and one 30-26. The Serbian who lives in Austria was more than convincing, smashing and bashing his opponent all over the octagon. What was very interesting and unexpected for the majority is the fact that Rakic dominated on the ground, performing very well even though that isn’t his primary area of fighting.
“Everybody underestimates my wrestling and my grappling. … The focus was a lot of pressure, make damage on the ground, (and) control.,” said Rakic following the match.
— UFC (@ufc) August 30, 2020
He would open the contest with brutal leg kicks, which immediately damaged Smith. We need to say that the Serb has an unreal power in his legs, and that his strikes are something rarely seen in the MMA. Smith, a veteran in the UFC, experienced that already in the first. Rakic made a combination that saw the Lionheart falling to the canvas in a blink of an eye.
For one second there, the American managed to reach Rakic’s back, but that was pretty much everything he did. The Serb would get out of that position easily and dictate the situation without any problems. He would keep the distance between them with those ferocious leg kicks, which always targeted Smith’s leading leg. After a while, the Lionheart started to feel consequences, and that, combined with the constant grappling fight, took away a lot of his energy and mobility.
Smith didn’t have the slightest chances of turning this bout into his favor. During the press conference, he stated that some big decisions are coming up his way, and that he needs to make the right one.
“I’ve never been one of the guys that’s out here pining and calling for more weight classes, but in these last couple of fights that’s kind of where my brain goes,” Smith said. “I’m just too big for 185, and you start getting into these bigger, stronger, taller, longer guys. I think I got some big decisions to make in my career and figure out where we go from here.”
This was the third defeat for him in the last four fights. All those losses were pretty routine, with Smith absorbing a lot of beating. That especially goes for the match against Glover Teixeira, where he survived a massacre.
Meanwhile, Rakic bounced back following an undeserved loss to Volkan Oezdemir in his previous appearance. That one finished via split decision in Oezdemir’s favor, but the entire MMA community is convinced that the win should have been awarded to Rakic. That loss interrupted his streak of 12 consecutive triumphs and was the first one since joining the UFC.
Yet, the organization recognized a big potential, and offered him a contract right after that fight. Now, after being established as one of the legit members of the UFC crew, Rakic aims at something much higher.
“You know what’s next,” Rakic said. “The belt is next. Reyes-Blachowicz winner, it’s me, the next one.”
The UFC apparently has a bit different plan for the title bouts than the Serb. The vacated throne will be filled with a winner of the Reyes vs. Blachowicz fight, and the first title-defense for that person will be against the better from Teixeira vs. Thiago Santos contest.
Nikola Velickovic is a sports journalist who loves to write and read on all sports. Nikola contributes both news updates and functions as a sports breaking news writer at WagerBop.