UFC light heavyweight contender Aleksandar Rakic believes that Dominick Reyes will be his toughest test at 205lbs.
Rakic picked up the biggest win of his MMA career to date when he won a lopsided unanimous decision over Anthony Smith in the main event of UFC on ESPN+ 33. The win improves Rakic’s record in the Octagon to 5-1 overall, and by beating the No. 5 ranked Smith, Rakic has assured himself of another big-name opponent for his next fight.
Speaking to the media following UFC on ESPN+ 33, Rakic was asked about the state of the UFC light heavyweight division in the wake of Jon Jones vacating his title. The Austria native believes that a fight against Dominick Reyes will be his toughest test, but also mentioned Jan Blachowicz, Glover Teixeira, and Thiago Santos as credible opponents.
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“I think (Reyes) is going to be my toughest challenge, but Thiago, Glover, and Jan are very, very strong athletes, you know, and they’re here in the top for a reason. It’s only small details, but we are in the highest level of the world. So I would say that Dominick would be my toughest challenge yet,” Rakic said.
Reyes takes on Blachowicz in the co-main event of UFC 253 with the vacant UFC light heavyweight title on the line, and the winner of the September 12 main event between Santos and Teixeira seems likely to get the first crack at the new champ and his belt. That means Rakic is likely going to face the loser of either of those two fights, though Jiri Prochazka and Volkan Oezdemir, who holds a win over Rakic, could also be in play.
While Rakic did earn a unanimous decision win over Smith, we all know the UFC matchmakers prefer finishes, and Rakic was not able to finish his opponent. While a big win on paper, it’s likely not the kind of performance that will land Rakic a title shot in his next fight, but perhaps one or two more big wins and he will be right there.
Who do you want to see Aleksandar Rakic fight next?