Rakic Dominates Smith in Clash of UFC Light Heavyweight Contenders

Jenn Connor
BarnBurner Sports Writer


Sunday, August 30, 2020

Aleksandar Rakic continued his rise within the UFC light heavyweight ranks, earning a unanimous decision victory over Anthony “Lionheart” Smith in the main event at UFC Fight Night in Las Vegas Saturday night. 

It was a dominant performance by Rakic, who improved his record to 13-2 and moves into the top five within the division. 

Rakic landed a number of leg kicks in the the early going, eventually knocking Smith to the canvas with a combination of leg kicks that had Smith in obvious distress. Rakic spent the rest of round on top of Smith and clearly had the edge in the opening frame. 

Smith landed a right hand early in the second round that appeared to stun Rakic, but Rakic recovered and again took Smith to the mat. Control time continued to mount for Rakic as did the total strikes - he held an 85-17 edge after two rounds. 

Smith, knowing he needed a finish, tried to force the issue in the final round but ate another leg kick that appeared to seriously compromise his mobility. Rakic easily took Smith to the ground again and finished the fight smothering Smith while landing some significant ground and pound. 

Rakic will be watching the upcoming Dominick Reyes/Jan Blachowicz fight with interest in the hope of taking on the winner for his shot at the title. 

In the co-main event Neil Magny registered his third win in 2020, defeating “Ruthless” Robbie Lawlor in a dominant performance, earning the Haitian Sensation a unanimous decision victory. The total strikes told the story of this one - Magney enjoyed a 121-17 advantage over the former champion. 

Lawlor’s takedown defense was no match for Magny, who spent the bulk of the first two rounds on top of Lawlor, attempting various choke submissions. Lawlor came out stronger in the third, but Magny responded, leaving Lawlor bleeding profusely from the nose and unable to land the Hail Mary knockout punch Lawlor so desperately needed. 

In other action from the main card, Alexa Grasso celebrated her move up to the women’s flyweight ranks with a unanimous decision win over Ji Yeon Kim. Grasso overcame Kim’s six-inch reach advantage and turned the fight in her favour in the second round, inflicting significant damage with a series of heavy right hands. Kim fought gamely in the third round but it wasn’t enough, Grasso a deserving winner. 

In a spirited featherweight scrap, a dominant third round by Ricardo Lamas earned the veteran a unanimous decision over Bill Algeo. 

In the prelim headliner, Impa Kasanganay earned a unanimous decision over Maki Pitolo in a hard fought middleweight bout. 

The UFC continues to deliver highly entertaining cards and will be right back at it in Las Vegas on September 5th, the main event a heavyweight clash between veteran Alistair Overeem (46-18-0) and Augusto Sakai (15-1-1).