It is confirmed: Aleksandar Rakic suffered a torn ACL in his fight against Jan Blachowicz at UFC Vegas 54 this past Saturday.
Rakic returned to the Octagon after more than a year away and met the former UFC light heavyweight champion in what was a very competitive fight. Unfortunately, it ended in the third round as ‘Rocket’ suffered the injury after stepping backward during an exchange, planting his right leg on the canvas and collapsing immediately. The referee stopped the action and requested the cageside physician, who tended to Rakic. Blachowicz was declared the winner via third-round technical knockout.
Several days removed from his loss to Blachowicz, Rakic underwent an MRI, and it showed he tore the ACL in his right knee. Ariel Helwani reported that the fighter is returning to Austria and expects to undergo surgery, with a date soon to be scheduled. Additional reporting from Marc Raimondi of ESPN revealed that he hopes it is done ‘as soon as possible,’ per his manager Marcelo Brigadeiro.
The recovery process for ACL surgery can be between six months to one year, so Rakic is likely to be out until 2023.
Rakic has since responded to the injury and explained that it occurred during his training camp three weeks ago. The 30-year-old also expressed interest in a rematch with Blachowicz upon his return to competition.
“God had other plans for me Saturday night,” wrote Rakic on Instagram. “Sometime we need to lose small battles in order to the win the war. Win or lose, good or bad the experience will change you. One thing I promise you, I will be back better than ever! This is not over yet, unfinished business [UFC] rematch! I waited for you to heal, now you wait for me to heal. Let’s run it back!”
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