Aleksandar Rakic believes he should be next for Jan Blachowicz after he faces Glover Teixeira later this year.
Rakic is coming off a decision win over Thiago Santos at UFC 259 to extend his winning streak to two and is 14-2 as a pro. Although the win over Santos was lackluster, the Austrian believes it was an easy win.
“I was training for that but he didn’t come out like usual,” Rakic said to MMAFighting. “I think I neutralized his strength with my distance and the constant pressure forward, I didn’t let him do his own thing. I picked my shots and that was enough to win the fight. If he came forward more or [was] more aggressive, the fight would be going different, you know, and I would probably knock him out or take him down and submit him. But he didn’t rush so many times forward and I picked my shots. I didn’t expect such a passive Thiago Santos but, anyways, a victory is a victory and I’m the No. 2 lightweight contender for a reason.”
“The focus was on an aggressive guy,” Rakic continued. “I respect Thiago and I think you can respect your opponent before the fight and after the fight, but, in the cage or in the octagon, I’m not gonna respect you. And I think his problem was that maybe he was respecting me in the cage. That’s the reason he let me do my thing. It was for me, like, easy victory, because I showed maybe 60 percent of my skills.”
With the win over Santos, Rakic is ranked second at light heavyweight. With that, he believes he should be next for the title.
“Why not?” Rakic said. “I’m young, I’m hungry and motivated, and I’m here to stay. I told Dana White after the fight, ‘I’m gonna be your new guy and new face of the light heavyweight division.’ I’m gonna dominate the division for long and you’re gonna to see every fight a better Aleksandar Rakic.”
However, Teixeira is next in line and Rakic knows that, so he hopes to be the backup fighter.
“I would love to be the backup fighter,” Rakic said. “It’s a big opportunity for me. But, if not, I would love to fight for the title. I think I proved to everyone that I’m deserving. I’m unbeaten in the UFC and it’s just a matter of time. But if the UFC comes to me with a backup fight for Glover and Jan, yes, I would jump in, of course.”