There is no doubt that Aleksandar Rakic is one of the top light heavyweight fighters in the world.
Since joining the UFC in 2017, the 30-year-old Austrian has showcased his dynamite power on the way to a 6-1 record in the Octagon, and he climbed the ladder quickly thanks to impressive performances against a handful of the division’s Top 15.
This weekend, Rakic faces his toughest test yet in former UFC light heavyweight champion Jan Blachowicz. A win over Blachowicz, especially a dominant one, would definitely help Rakic stake his claim as the next man to compete for the belt.
But before we look ahead at what’s next for Rakic, let’s reminisce on his best performances to date:
Aleksandar Rakic vs Devin Clark
UFC 231 – December 8, 2018
Rakic’s first true litmus test came at UFC 231, when he went to battle with Devin Clark. The two light heavyweights collided in a big way as Clark found early success on the feet. Rakic was able to recover and turn the tables on Clark, getting the first-round finish despite being hurt early in the bout.
The TKO win truly announced that Rakic had arrived in the UFC light heavyweight Top 15, and only big things were on the horizon.
Aleksandar Rakic vs Jimi Manuwa
UFC Fight Night: Gustafsson vs Smith – June 1, 2019
How did Rakic follow up his first-round win over Devin Clark? With an emphatic head kick knockout of respected contender Jimi Manuwa. The devastating kick came less than a minute into the fight and put the world on notice that Rakic’s kicks were going to be a problem.
Aleksandar Rakic vs Anthony Smith
UFC Fight Night: Smith vs Rakic – August 29, 2019
Rakic got his first main event spotlight at the UFC APEX when he faced former light heavyweight title challenger Anthony Smith. Rakic followed his gameplan for all three rounds in order to neutralize the dangers that come with fighting someone like Smith. He successfully took out Smith’s legs with thudding leg kicks and then used his grappling to control his opponent. It wasn’t Rakic’s most flashy performance, but it helped him move up to the top tier of UFC light heavyweights.
Aleksandar Rakic vs Thiago Santos
UFC 259 – March 6, 2021
When fans saw that Rakic was slated to face Thiago Santos at UFC 259, they couldn’t help but get excited. Unfortunately, the fight wasn’t exactly a barnburner, as both fighters were wary of each other’s power and engaged in a chess match. Although there weren’t any big moments, Rakic controlled the range and pace, and was able to outwork Santos for the win, solidifying himself as one of the true title contenders at 205 pounds.
UFC Fight Night: Blachowicz vs Rakic took place on Saturday, May 14, 2022 at the UFC APEX in Las Vegas. See the Final Results, Official Scorecards and Who Won Bonuses — and relive all of the action on UFC Fight Pass.