The light heavyweight division has another contender.
Aleksandar Rakic entered Saturday’s UFC Stockholm card on the cusp of becoming a contender and he shattered those expectations with a frightening first-round head kick knockout of veteran Jimi Manuwa.
Afterwards, Rakic apologized to the crowd at Ericsson Globe for celebrating too enthusiastically and he implored them to show their appreciation for Manuwa.
“I’ve been doing this kick since I’m a kid,” Rakic explained. “My background is kickboxing, I’ve been fighting for almost 14 years, and the left high kick is a special weapon. I throw it all the time, especially after the right uppercut and yeah, it was the beginning of the end.
“Respect to Jimi. I know Jimi for a long time, give Jimi [a hand], thank you, Jimi. Thank you.”
The official time of the stoppage was 42 seconds into round one.
This was Rakic’s 12th consecutive victory and he hasn’t lost since his pro debut back in October 2011. With UFC wins over Manuwa, Devin Clark, Justin Ledet, and Francimar Barroso, Rakic has the second-longest win streak in the promotion behind Dominick Reyes (5).
“I beat Jimi, he is ranked No. 11, so I deserve a chance to get his place,” Rakic said post-fight. “There are just a few guys in front of me in the rankings. All of them. I’m 27 years old, I don’t want to rush. If the UFC gives me another top-10 guy, I’m going to fight him. So I have plenty of time, but my time will come and you have to remember my name.
“Remember my name because I am the new dog in the park.”
Manuwa (17-6) lost his fourth consecutive bout. The 39-year-old has been knocked out three times during that stretch.
Watch the highlight-reel finish above.