Not long before UFC middleweight champion Israel Adesanya — all 193 pounds of him — jumps up in weight to challenge current light heavyweight kingpin Jan Blachowicz, No. 4-ranked contender Aleksandar Rakic will try to insert his name into the 205-pound title chase by turning away power-punching division veteran Thiago Santos.
And if “Rocket” has to root for someone in the UFC 259 pay-per-view (PPV) main event, taking place this Sat. night (March 6, 2021) inside APEX in Las Vegas, Nevada, he’s sticking with Adesanya, simply because “The Last Stylebender” is the bigger fish to fry.
“The new era is coming,” Rakic told reporters at the UFC 259 media day (transcribed by MMA Junkie). “Honestly I would like to fight Israel. He’s the biggest name. All respect to Jan, he’s the champion, but Israel is the bigger name. To fight against him and to win against him and take all his legacy would be great. I need to make a great performance on Saturday like I do always, let the UFC know I’m coming for the title.”
Rakic (13-2) is on a mission to prove he belongs in the championship conversation after dropping a split-decision to Volkan Oezdemir at UFC Fight Night 165. Unfortunately, his follow-up win over Anthony Smith did little to convince fickle fight fans he’s the chosen one.
Hammering “Marreta” would certainly help change that.
Regardless, a victory for Adesanya may send him up yet another weight class to fight Jones, or back down to middleweight to resume his obligatory title defenses. And who knows what sort of chaos would ensue if Blachowicz starches “The Last Stylebender.”
We’ll find out this weekend in “Sin City.”
To see the rest of the UFC 259: “Blachowicz vs. Adesanya” fight card and PPV lineup click here.