Aleksandar Rakic Not Ready for Jon Jones Just Yet

Jun 1, 2019; Stockholm, Sweden; Jimi Manuwa (red gloves) fights Aleksandar Rakic (blue gloves) at Ericsson Globe. Mandatory Credit: Per Haljestam-USA TODAY Sports

Aleksandar Rakic made a loud and reverberating statement when he knocked Jimi Manuwa clean unconscious in the co-main event of UFC Stockholm. With this victory, Rakic is expected to be at or around the #11 spot in the rankings currently possessed by Manuwa. Every time a new light heavyweight prospect emerges, the whispers begin. You know the ones. The ones that ask, “Will this guy be the one to dethrone Jon Jones?” And before those whispers grow any louder, Aleksandar Rakic is already personally quieting that noise down:

“I think to fight for the title, I need a couple more fights,” Rakic said at the UFC Stockholm post-fight press conference.  “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%. You have to be prepared 200%. And 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. And I don’t want to rush.”

Aleksandar Rakic is now one of the top prospects to watch in the light heavyweight division, but he also let it be known that he has been watching his competition from the day he joined the roster.  

“When I signed to the UFC, we already started to study every potential opponent. And my coaches are studying the top 15 already for a year now. And we’re watching all the fights. And I need time, a couple of more fights. But soon I’m gonna get the title shot and the win.”

And the man who’s at the top of the watch list? Who else but Jon “Bones” Jones?:

“I’ve watched Jon Jones for a long time,” Rakic said. “And I think for now, what I can say now, the advantage I have over him is my footwork and my speed in the punches. I think I am much faster than him, and I have more power to finish a fight with one punch.”

Do you believe Aleksandar Rakic has the potential to dethrone Jon Jones down the line?