The landscape at light heavyweight has changed since Aleksandar Rakic got injured, but one thing remains the same.
Rakic (14-3 MMA, 6-2 UFC) tore his ACL in a TKO loss to former champion Jan Blachowicz in May 2022, and has been on the mend ever since.
Blachowicz (29-10-1 MMA, 12-7-1 UFC) went on to battle Magomed Ankalaev to a split draw in a vacant title fight at UFC 282, followed by a close loss to former middleweight champ Alex Pereira at UFC 291. Rakic has wanted to run things back with Blachowicz since falling down with the injury, and the fight appears to make more sense than ever as he nears his return.
“If you ask me which fight I would love the most if it’s not a title fight, I would love to run it back with Jan because the chapter is not closed,” Rakic said on Sirius XM’s Fight Nation.
“I was in the best shape of my life and I really didn’t lose the fight because he was the better man on that night. My coaches are telling me, ‘Alex, you beat yourself.’ For me, this chapter is not closed. But we will see what the UFC wants.”
Prior to losing to Blachowicz, Rakic scored back-to-back wins over former title challengers Anthony Smith and Thiago Santos. He is the only fighter in the UFC’s top five light heavyweight rankings to never compete for a championship.
“I need to remind the guys in the top that I’m still here and that I’m potentially a guy who’s fighting for the title,” Rakic said.