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UFC 259: Aleksandar Rakic wants title shot with win over Thiago Santos

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UFC Fight Night Smith v Rakic: Weigh-Ins Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC

It was recently announced that Jan Blachowicz will defend his Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) Light Heavyweight title against current Middleweight champion, Israel Adesanya, at UFC 259 on March 6, 2021. And Aleksandar Rakic wants next.

Indeed, Rakic will face off against former 205-pound title contender, Thiago Santos, in pay-per-view (PPV) main card action at UFC 259. And he says if he defeats “Marreta” he wants a title shot. In doing so, he will fulfill a promise he made to a close friend who he recently lost.

“I’m gonna be prepared for war, and I know Thiago is also gonna be prepared for war,” Rakic told MMA Junkie. “I want this title shot, and I want this belt so bad. I made a promise for one friend of mine who I lost a couple of days ago, and I promised his family that I’m gonna win against Thiago and I’m gonna get the title shot, and this motivates me a lot.”

Rakic is 5-1 so far in his UFC career and was last seen defeating Anthony Smith via unanimous decision back in August. Santos, meanwhile, has lost two straight to Jon Jones and Glover Teixeira, but his skid has done nothing to show Rakic that the hard-hitting Brazilian is slipping one bit.

“These two losses in a row mean nothing,” Rakic said. “Thiago is a dangerous guy. He fought Jon Jones very well, he fought injured. Now he lost to Glover. He knocked Glover down, Glover came back – he’s dangerous, he’s very dangerous – but you can see that the ring rust was there.”

Rakic is currently ranked No. 4, but he will likely need one more win to get to the big dance because Teixeira currently owns the No. 1 ranking and has won five in a row, which means he will likely get the winner of Adesanya vs. Blachowicz.

Still, a win is crucial for Rakic, who could put himself in prime position to reach his combat goals with a big win over Santos.