Aleksandar Rakic got a step-up in competition when he took on Jimi Manuwa and had an incredible head kick knockout in the first round. Now, the surging prospect knows he is closing in on a title shot against one of the best to ever do it in Jon Jones.
Although no one has beaten Jones — his only loss is to disqualification — he is more than confident he would beat the light heavyweight champion. How he would do so is simple, he believes he excels at the same things Jones does, but better.
“I’m an all-around fighter like him, so it would be a great fight to fight him,” Rakic said at the UFC Stockholm post-fight press conference. “I watched Jon Jones for a long time and I think what I can say now, the advantage I have over him is my footwork and my speed in the punches.
“I think I’m much faster than him and I have more power to finish a fight with one punch, and the footwork.”
Now, after the win over Manuwa, Rakic believes it is just a matter of time before he fights Jones. He is more than ready for the challenge and has been preparing for this fight for a long time.
“I’ve been working so hard, not just for this fight, but every fight for my whole career, I’ve been working for this,” Rakic said. “This is my place and I’m born for it, to be a champion one day.”
In the end, Rakic knows he is still young and wants a few more fights before he takes on Jones. But, it is only a matter of time before they sqaure off.
“I think to fight for the title, I need a couple more fights,” Rakic said. “I need to improve all my skills because to take a title fight against Jon Jones or someone else, it’s hard, you have to be prepared not 100 percent, you to be prepared 200 percent.
“I’m 27-years-old, I don’t want to rush, I have plenty of time and you see after every fight in the UFC I’m getting better and better.”
Cole Shelton covers MMA for BJPenn.com, MMANews, and MyMMANews.com while also being the lead MMA odds writer for Sports Betting Dime