We have an incredibly stacked card of fights coming to us tonight at UFC 259. We have three title fights in total, as well as a ton of other incredible, meaningful match ups.
The co-main event comes a women’s featherweight title bout, as the greatest female fighter of all-time, Amanda Nunes looks to defend her UFC featherweight championship for the second time against Megan Anderson.
Headlining the event is a champion vs. champion clash between UFC middleweight champion Israel Adesanya and UFC light-heavyweight champion Jan Blachowicz, who looks to make the first defense of his title tonight.
Thiago Santos vs. Aleksandar Rakic Preview:
Starting out the pay-per-view card tonight came a light-heavyweight bout between No. 2 ranked Thiago Santos and No. 4 ranked Aleksandar Rakic.
Santos is coming off back-to-back defeats, the split decision to Jon Jones, and the submission (rear naked choke) to No. 1 contender Glover Teixeira.
Many believe he beat Jones, and should’ve walked away with the belt after they fought, and he nearly knocked Teixeira out three times in their encounter. Teixeira was able to weather the storm though, and got the submission finish in round three.
Rakic was coming off a defeat going into his last bout, where he was defeated by Volkan Oezdemir via split decision. It was an incredibly close fight that could’ve gone either way.
Then there’s his last fight, where he absolutely mauled Anthony Smith for three rounds to secure the unanimous decision victory. Continue reading to see how this epic light-heavyweight encounter went down:
Official Result: Aleksandar Rakic def. Thiago Santos via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 30-27)
Round one was very much a feeling out process for both parties.
Rakic takes the center as soon as the bout begins, and is making good reads in the striking department. Neither are striking often, but Rakic does land some nice leg kicks, and catches Santos on the end of a couple of his punches.
Round two is looking a lot like round one at the start. Santos tries to lunge in for a combination, only to get his back turned into the fence. Rakic is taking an incredibly measured and cautious, yet intelligent approach to this fight.
Santos is able to escape and the two return to the center, where Rakic again is doing a good job keeping the distance.
The issue is, neither of them are doing a whole lot.
Santos tries for a double leg takedown about 30 seconds into round three, but is denied and pushed up against the fence once again.
Santos is attempting to go for it more in this round, and at one point lands a thunderous round kick to Rakic’s body.
Rakic tries for his own double leg, but is denied on the attempt, though he’s kept Santos’ back to the fence.
As Joe Rogan’s saying, this isn’t the fight we expected it to be, but that doesn’t take away from how talented these two are. It’s just one of those type of match ups it appears.
Santos doesn’t seem to be able to close the distance like he used to, also something Rogan said, and Rakic didn’t make it easy for him to do much of anything. It is clear however who won this fight, to say the least.