This wasn’t the most entertaining performance of 2020 but it was one of the most dominant. Born in Serbia and raised in Vienna, Austria, Aleksandar Rakic is a freak athlete. He possesses a remarkable physique and incredible power. His clash against Anthony ‘Lionheart’ Smith had high stakes.
Smith fought Glover Teixeira in the first main event of the post-pandemic UFC era. That fight didn’t go the way he wanted and is most memorable for him picking up his teeth and handing them to referee Jason Herzog. But with Jon Jones out of the title picture, an opportunity arose.
He knew that a dominant win over Rakic would get him back in title contention. However, that wasn’t to be as Rakic suffocated him throughout their UFC Apex main event fight. Check out the highlights below of this one-sided contest. It wasn’t the spectacular performance we hoped to see but it was dominant from Rakic.
🇷🇸 @Rakic_UFC is showing no let up in RD 3 #UFCVegas8. pic.twitter.com/oOzEiVA938
— UFC (@ufc) August 30, 2020
Round one saw both men exchange leg kicks. However, Rakic did the most damage, landing a trio one after the other. They took their toll on Smith with one even sending him crashing to the ground. Rakic was on top of him straight away. He tried to land ground-and-pound but Smith scrambled and attempted to take the European fighter’s back.
However, Rakic broke free and continued to smash Smith on the ground. He didn’t do a lot of damage but it was suffocating. This was like watching somebody like Khabib fight. While it wasn’t the most exciting display, it was interesting to see this facet of the Serbian’s game.
BOOM 💥@LionheartASmith with a MASSIVE shot to the chin. #UFCVegas8 pic.twitter.com/nfn7MfPnHV
— UFC (@ufc) August 30, 2020
The big question at the end of the round was how was Smith’s leg? He appeared to be ok but it didn’t really matter. Lionheart tried to take Rakic down, but the Serbian ended up in Smith’s guard. From there Smith looked for submissions while Rakic tried to deal damage to his downed foe. However, neither of them did much damage. But Rakic’s dominance won him the second round.
Finally, Rakic totally suffocated Smith in the third. Smith backed up after a short exchange and ended up on the floor with Rakic beating on him. There was nowhere he could go. Although he didn’t take many hits to the head, Smith absorbed a lot of knees to his butt and thighs. It looked extremely uncomfortable and he couldn’t produce the power to get up. One of the judges even gave this round to Rakic as a 10-8.
Finally, after a clear-cut decision, Rakic called for a title shot. However, realistically, he’ll have to wait and see what happens with Glover Teixeira and Thiago Santos. If one of those two men produces a more entertaining – not difficult – or more emphatic performance, then they’ll justifiably claim the shot against the winner of Dominick Reyes v Jan Blachowicz. Rakic may have to settle for fellow rising star Jiri Prochazka.
Solo escuchen las patadas! 💥 #UFCVegas8 pic.twitter.com/gDF5AmmxI9
— ufcespanol (@UFCEspanol) August 30, 2020
In the co-main event, Neil Magny produced one of the most emphatic performances of his career against former welterweight champion Robbie Lawlor. Some people were critical of Magny for his ‘lay and pray’ tactics, but he was extremely effective against ‘Ruthless.’ He even outstruck him on the feet.
Lawlor is a UFC legend but may consider retirement after his fourth straight loss. Meanwhile, Magny is expected to fight Geoff Neal after this excellent win.