Las Vegas, NV – For UFC light heavyweight Aleksandar Rakic the wait for the main event of UFC Vegas 54 this Saturday night has been a long one. The wait finally ends when he meets Jan Blachowicz at the UFC APEX.
“I would wish that I could fight the last year even one more time. It’s a 14-month layoff for me, but I’ve been really working hard these last 14 months. I improved all my skills, and I got one year older. That means I’m one year smarter, and can’t wait. I’m so excited for the fight,” Rakic told reporters on Wednesday.
“Believe me or not I’m enjoying the weight cut because it’s like 14 months I didn’t fought. So even that, it’s funny,” said Rakic.
Rakic takes on the former light heavyweight champion just removed from losing his title, but also coming off a weird injury that reportedly left him temporarily paralyzed on one side of his body.
“It sounds really weird injury, but he managed to heal very fast, and I’m expecting the best version of Jan Blachowicz. Specially after his last performance were not good, he lost the belt, and he gonna come Saturday night to the octagon and he’s going to be motivated and focused. He’s going to want the belt back, but there is one problem. That’s me,” Rakic said.
Rakic is very aware of what this fight means for his career taking on a former champion who was finished in his last bout and lost the title.
“This is the biggest fight of my life. Fighting a former champ and the fourth former title contender, the fourth, I beat him on Saturday the number one contender….there is no doubt about that I’m going to fight for a title next,” Rakic said.
“For me, in my position, it feels like it’s a title eliminator fight. For him, I really don’t know, but I see this as a title eliminator fight.”
For the man they call “Rocket” it’s all about getting to the title regardless of how he gets there. The nickname does bring curiosity however.
“I got the name after the Jimmy Manuwa knockout. They were so explosive and I know that I’m one of the most explosive guys in the division, and the most fastest guy. With the kicks I throw. Rocket and Rakic it’s kind of like similar that’s the reason they call me Rocket. I kind of like it,” Rakic said.
Fans may not look at Rakic as someone they want to see as the UFC light heavyweight champion, some going as far as to call him boring, but Rakic doesn’t listen to the chatter.
“I really don’t care, you know, if the people say that I’m boring fighter they would be sitting here, and doing better than me right? Sometime the fight, it happens like this, you cannot rush for a knockout. If you rush for a knockout it can go fast that you get knocked out. You need to stay composed, stay disciplined and pick your shots. See your momemtum, and then take it. I really don’t care what the people say,” said Rakic.
“I know what I can do, what I’m able to, and I know that i’m going to be the world champion soon.”