Surging Austrian contender, Aleksandar Rakic has called for a potential UFC light heavyweight title-eliminator against recent big winner, Jiri Prochazka — as the two possibly await the victor of the UFC 266 pairing of champion, Jan Blachowicz, and challenger, Glover Teixeira.
Scoring his second consecutive victory at UFC 259 in March, the #3 ranked Rakic met with former title challenger, Thiago Santos at the UFC Apex facility event, and despite scoring a unanimous decision win over the Brazilian veteran, he received some criticism, as did Santos, for their lacklustre display throughout the three-round affair.
The victory followed a prior one-sided unanimous judging success over another one-time title chaser, Anthony Smith in a short notice main event at UFC Vegas 8 in August, where Rakic broke into the top-five of the 205lbs pile.
For Czech Republic native, Prochazka, the former Rizin FF light heavyweight titleholder appeared to firmly stamp his shot at the undisputed light heavyweight title last weekend at UFC Vegas 26 — stopping two-time championship challenger, Dominick Reyes with a highlight-reel second round spinning back elbow.
The stoppage earned him the #2 rank in the light heavyweight division, and following his July UFC 251 debut against Volkan Oezdemir where he scored another massive second round knockout, he was largely considered as the next challenger to the 205lbs throne after Brazilian veteran, Teixeira.
Given the fact the light heavyweight championship clash between Blachowicz and Teixeira isn’t scheduled to take place until September 4th. — suggestions have been made regarding a title-eliminator between Prochazka and Rakic, particularly if the former intends on remaining active and sharp.
Speaking with MMA Junkie recently, Rakic praised Blachowicz’s performance against Reyes, however, suggested a title-eliminator between the two of them to determine the next challenger to either Blachowicz to Teixeira’s throne.
“He (Jiri Prochazka) did a great performance,” Rakic said. “He knocked out (Dominick) Reyes. He’s now a top contender, and this fight makes sense against Jiri. The result what happened on Saturday is the best thing that could have happened to me because this wakes my attention, my motivation. I’m even now more motivated to go back to the gym, to train harder and harder.“
“The fight against Jiri makes the most sense now, and Glover (Teixeira) is going to fight Jan (Blachowicz) in September,” Rakic said. “Who else is gonna fight Jiri instead of me? Who?“
Rakic explained that Prochazka is generating a lot of hype due to his recent performances, however, he maintains that he’s the contender to snap his winning spree and subsequently, that hype.
“If the UFC want to do it with me and Jiri in September on the same card as Jan and Glover, that would be great for the division,” Rakic said. “It’s up to the UFC what they want. It’s a lot of hype around Jiri, and I understand this. He did a very good job, but someone needs to stop the hype.“
Senior writer for FightBook MMA. An aspiring mixed martial arts reporter based in Ireland. Producer of news articles, interviews, opinion features, and exclusive features such as, ‘The Fallout’, ‘The Breakdown, and, ‘This Week In MMA’.