UFC 259: Aleksandar Rakic bests Thiago Santos in disappointing PPV opener

Aleksandar Rakic got the win in a lackluster affair with Thiago Santos at UFC 259.

In a fight that had a lot of potential but completely underwhelmed, Aleksandar Rakic took the win over Thiago Santos in the opening bout of the pay-per-view portion of UFC 259.

Both guys fought with a limited offense, but Rakic seemed mostly in control, while Santos seemed to not get anything going.

Aleksandar Rakic uses range, clinch work to control fight with Thiago Santos and get win

Both men fought cautiously in the opening frame, but when they did throw, they threw with intention, trading power shots. Rakic used his range in the opening five minutes to control the pace, but Santos seemed to land the more powerful shots.

The limited pace continued into the second round, but about two minutes in, Rakic managed to clinch up Santos and pin him against the cage. Rakic landed body shots there; however, it wasn’t enough to be considered anything major.

Rakic blocked an early Santos takedown attempt in the third and clinched him briefly but there wasn’t much. Rakic attempted his own takedown with Santos against the cage with less than two minutes left in the fight, but Santos fought it off and landed some heavy elbows and a knee to the body. It wasn’t enough, however, and Rakic continued to have Santos pinned against the cage for some time — while Santos didn’t take a chance.

Two judges scored the fight 29-28, while a third scored it 30-27, all for Rakic.

UFC 259 took place on Saturday, March 6, 2021, live from the UFC Apex in Las Vegas, NV. Follow along with FanSided who will be on-site for all your live news and highlights.

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