At UFC 259 Thiago Santos went the distance against rising contender Aleksandar Rakic, Rakic went on social media to exclaim that the fight against the Brazilian was easy work for him.
After the fight, the former light heavyweight title challenger was perplexed as to why Rakic would say that about him. Overall, Santos implied that the fight was much closer than what Rakic believed it to be. While the fight wasn’t the most exhilarating, it highlighted Rakic’s ability to keep the fight where he wants it. As a result, the Austrian-born athlete ran away with the fight using his wrestling abilities in what he considered to be an easy win.
“The focus was on an aggressive guy,” Rakic said to MMA Fighting. “I respect Thiago and I think you can respect your opponent before the fight and after the fight, but, in the cage or in the octagon, I’m not gonna respect you. And I think his problem was that maybe he was respecting me in the cage. That’s the reason he let me do my thing. It was for me, like, easy victory, because I showed maybe 60 percent on my skills.”
Thiago Santos Responds To Rakic’s Perception of the Fight
Confused by Rakic’s perception of the fight, Thiago Santos posted the stats of the bout on social media to emphasize that Santos wasn’t the reason why the fight was boring. To drive his point home, the Brazilian also showed that he outstruck Rakic while standing.
“Hey @rakic_ufc Why the disrespect? Thiago Santos posted. What do you mean easy fight? All the specialized sites gave me the strike count. All you did was grab and stall! You have a short memory!”
Thiago Santos also expressed that the only reason it was easy is because he didn’t manage to knock out the up-and-coming 29-year old. Additionally, “Marreta” acknowledges his knockout power, and the fact that Rakic left in one piece is a victory by itself.
“Hey @rakic_ufc Easy fight because I did not ko your ass! Thiago Santos posted. I understand that when that doesnt happen it is already a victory for my opponents!
Despite Rakic expecting aggression, there was speculation that Santos could enter the bout tentative after a tough loss to Glover Teixeira. In fact, the loss to Teixeira might have laid out the blueprint to beat Thiago Santos. In essence, keeping the Brazilian on his back foot and making him work on the ground seem to cause trouble the later the fight goes.
After a tortuous recovery following the Jon Jones title fight, (multiple ACL and MCL tears) there is a mystery surrounding every Thiago Santos fight now. With a new champion sitting at the top, there are plenty of opportunities abound for both athletes.
What do you make of Rakic’s claim that Thiago Santos was an easy fight? Will Santos still have the same power he had before all of the leg injuries? Let us know below what you think!