Aleksandar Rakic hopes to get into title competition with a win above Anthony Smith at UFC Vegas 8 this weekend. But a shot at the gold will evidently no for a longer time come towards the longest-reigning champion in light-weight heavyweight historical past.
Jon Jones not too long ago vacated his 205-pound title, saying his intention to leave the division fully with options to go up to heavyweight when he returns to action. A new champion will be topped at UFC 253, when Dominick Reyes faces off with Jan Blachowicz, but Jones’ shadow nonetheless looms significant about the division.
For his portion, Rakic has combined thoughts when it will come to Jones leaving the excess weight class.
“I’m a tiny little bit satisfied, however I’m a minimal little bit unhappy due to the fact he remaining, Rakic discussed when speaking to MMA Fighting for the duration of the UFC Vegas 8 media working day. “I’m satisfied mainly because the way to the best, to the belt is shorter, but I’m sad because if you come to be a champion in gentle heavyweight, the men and women gonna say, ‘You require to beat Jon Jones to grow to be the authentic light heavyweight champion.’ So you are in no way heading to be the champion in the people’s eyes. You have to have to beat him.”
Jones hardly ever tasted a legit defeat throughout his complete career at 205 lbs, with the lone blemish on his history coming from a disqualification in a struggle he was dominating towards Matt Hamill. Outside the house of that, the champ witnessed a couple of near decisions, but in any other case he’s been almost untouched as a person of the UFC’s most prolific champions.
Even if Jones voluntarily surrendered the belt, Rakic isn’t providing up hope he’ll be in a position to encounter the now-previous champion 1 working day.
“Maybe Jon after he has a pair fights at heavyweight, probably he wishes to obstacle himself and go back again to mild heavyweight and want to be a double champ – you in no way know,” Rakic stated. “Or, maybe in the upcoming I’m heading to meet Jon in the heavyweight division. You by no means know what’s likely to happen.”
With Jones long gone and a new champion about to be topped in September, Rakic is holding his key target on the fight with Smith as he hopes to make a statement about his standing in the division.
While he endured a razor-near break up conclusion loss in his very last outing in opposition to Volkan Oezdemir — a struggle he vehemently believes he won — Rakic believes a showcase performance in a primary function versus a former title contender like Smith will do miracles for his future.
“I need to have and I will make a assertion on Saturday that the entire world is familiar with who Aleksandar Rakic is,” Rakic claimed. “And right after I defeat Anthony, I’m likely to be ideal in the top rated five. It’s possible a likely title contender. We’re going to see what occurs.”