While Rakić has been in the UFC since 2017, Procházka only arrived on MMA’s biggest stage last year. But in the short period of time he’s been a part of the promotion’s light heavyweight roster, “Denisa” has made a monumental impact, one that’s seen him surpass Rakić in the rankings.
In his debut, Procházka brutally knocked out former title challenger Volkan Oezdemir on Fight Island. Having broken onto the scene in impactful fashion, the Czech star went one step further in his second appearance, breaking into title contention with an even more vicious KO, this time against Dominick Reyes.
Not many people have secured a main event slot in just their sophomore outing, and even fewer have cemented their status as number one contender without even making three walks to the Octagon. But despite his impressive start in the UFC, not everyone believes he’s done enough to earn a spot at the front of the queue.
According to Hill, who is tipped as a future star at 205 pounds and currently sits at #12 in the rankings, Rakić deserves to be fighting for gold next over his European peer.
“I mean, both have a case, I guess. Me, personally, I think it should be Rakić, just because Rakić has been here longer,” Hill told The Hannibal TV. “Who’s had the most success at his weight? Who’s done the more things to put themselves into championship position? I think that’s Rakić. Jiří came in and beat two guys that were on losing streaks.”
Rakić Will Have To Go Through A Former Champion To Reach Gold
Since joining the UFC, Rakić has gone 6-1. However, most believe the Austrian should boast a perfect record in the promotion. His sole loss, a split decision defeat to Oezdemir in 2019, was highly controversial, and most believe he was the rightful winner.
Since that setback, “Rocket” has got back on track with consecutive successes against former title challengers Anthony Smith and Thiago Santos. In the eyes of many, those victories, coupled with his triumphs over the likes of Jimi Manuwa and Devin Clark, should have been enough to book him a date with the champion. That’s without even mentioning the suggestion that Procházka turned down offers to face the 29-year-old.
Instead, Rakić will have to go through former champion Jan Blachowicz if he is to earn a title shot in 2022. The Polish powerhouse was dethroned by Teixeira at UFC 267 and will be looking to secure a chance at redemption by stalling the charge of his fellow European.
The pair are set to headline the March 26 UFC Fight Night. The winner is expected to challenge the victor of the likely championship clash between Teixeira and Procházka.
Do you agree with Jamahal Hill? Should Aleksandar Rakić be fighting for the title next instead of Jiří Procházka?