Due to a freak injury, the main event clash between UFC light heavyweight contenders Jan Blachowicz and Aleksandar Rakic saw an untimely ending.
Blachowicz is back in the win column after earning a much-needed technical knockout (TKO) victory against the rising star. Unfortunately, what was supposed to be the former champion’s moment of redemption was marred by the anti-climactic conclusion of the fight.
In round three, Rakic caught a low kick from Blachowicz, who had been chopping away at his opponent’s legs in the first two frames. Stepping back, the Austrian planted his right leg and crumbled to the ground.
Referee Mark Smith immediately noticed something was wrong and wasted no time calling for the stoppage. Rakic continued to grimace in pain as it became apparent that he had sustained a severe knee injury.
Footage from the replay showed some sort of popping movement on Rakic’s calf before he fell down. Needless to say, the MMA community was in shock. Here’s how UFC fighters reacted to the recently-concluded event.
MMA Twitter reacts to shocking conclusion of UFC Fight Night: Jan Blachowicz vs. Aleksandar Rakic
It was apparent that a lot of fighters were hyped to see Jan Blachowicz and Aleksandar Rakic throw down. UFC light heavyweight champion Glover Teixeira, middleweight contender Derek Brunson, and up-and-coming 205-pounder Jimmy Crute hopped on social media to express their excitement.
After the first round, fighters have varying assessments of the action. Johnny Walker had Rakic ahead on his personal scorecard, while Jimi Manuwa thought Blachowicz secured the opening round.
However, the excitement quickly turned into astonishment when Rakic went down with the injury. Walker wished Rakic a speedy recovery, while Manuwa pointed out that it was a “sh * t ending to a great fight.”
Former two-division champion Daniel Cormier speculated that Rakic could have suffered a tear in his ACL (anterior cruciate ligament). Meanwhile, Brunson only had one word to describe what he had just witnessed.
Finally, Belal Muhammad and Casey O’Neill are in agreement that what happened to Rakic was very unfortunate. Muhammad said he “hated to see a fight end like that.” Meanwhile, O’Neill believes a knee injury is the “worst thing honestly.”