UFC light heavyweight contender Anthony Smith criticized Aleksandar Rakic for winning decisions instead of finishing fights.
Smith steps back into the Octagon next Saturday night when he takes on Ryan Spann in an important fight at 205lbs. Coming off of back-to-back wins over Jimmy Crute and Devin Clark, Smith has been able to bounce back following a tough start to 2020 when he lost one-sided fights to Glover Teixeira and to Rakic. While Teixeira was able to finish Smith with strikes, Rakic was content to take him down and wrestle his way to a decision. As far as Smith goes, Rakic’s game plan in that fight, and in his decision win over Thiago Santos after that, is proof that Rakic doesn’t want to actually go in there and finish fights, but rather be content with a decision win.
Speaking to MMA reporter James Lynch, Smith was asked if he thinks Rakic has done enough to get a title shot at 205lbs. As far as Smith goes, he doesn’t believe the UFC matchmakers will reward Rakic for winning decisions and instead will give the title shot to Jiri Prochazka, who has turned heads in his UFC career with his KO wins over Volkan Oezdemir and Dominick Reyes.
“I don’t see the UFC rewarding Rakic for his past couple of performances, and one of them was over me. It’s just, he doesn’t want to fight. He wants to get the win, and credit to him, he got it over me, he got it over Thiago, but neither one of those were real fights. That’s our fault for letting him do that. Thiago and myself need to do a better job of not letting that stuff happen. But I think our division has been kind of standing on this pedestal of guys who want to show up and fight and not squeak out decisions, because we had a champion at the top (Jon Jones) who did that for a long period of time up until his end at 205lbs,” Rakic said. “So one of those guys (Rakic and Prochazka) is going to have to fight again. One of them is going to get the title shot and one of them is going to have to fight again. I would suspect that Jiri is going to get the title shot and that Aleksandar Rakic is going to have to fight again.”
Do you think the criticism Anthony Smith directed towards Aleksandar Rakic is warranted?
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