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Thiago Santos

Key Stats: 11 KO/TKO wins (tied 2nd all-time), 4.36 strikes landed per minute, 64% takedown defense

What It Means: Santos is perhaps light heavyweight division’s most potent knockout artist. He is never not looking to put his opponent out with every strike he throws, and he has the athleticism and ferocity to put him in the right position to do just that. He is an explosive striker in the pocket and has a variety of kicks he uses as well. He is most at home in a firefight.

Aleksandar Rakic

Key Stats: +2.67 striking differential (2nd all-time among LHW), 54.9% significant strike accuracy (5th), 44.1% control time percentage (2nd)

What It Means: Rakic is a powerful but patient fighter who likes to lean on his distance management and skill level while possessing the ability to end the fight in a blink. He is long-limbed and methodical with his approach, picking his shots and confusing opponents so as to mute their offense. Rakic is able to mix things up and grapple a bit as well, and he exhibits great strength along the fence in clinch situations.

What to Look For in the Fight: While both fighters have their share of knockout power, Rakic is likely going to favor a more methodical pace to the fight whereas Santos will want to pick his spots to explode for the knockout shot. Rakic often fights longer than his foe and might try to impose himself physically along the fence, but that’s a dangerous game against Santos, who looked powerful against Teixeira before Teixiera was able to exhaust “Marreta.” It wouldn’t be surprising for Rakic to look to implement a similar game plan.


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