There was a disappointing end to UFC Vegas 54 last night, as Aleksandar Rakic lost his main event to Jan Blachowicz under unusual circumstances. Midway through the third round, Rakic crumbled to the ground indicating that he had suffered a leg injury.
According to one expert, that injury might be something that keeps the highly ranked light heavyweight out of action for some time.
Dr. Brian Sutterer of the famous Mayo Clinic is known for breaking down UFC fighter injuries on his YouTube channel. So it comes as no surprise that he was ready to cast his expert eye over what went down last night.
“This anterior tibial translation and that shift that we see backwards, is an ACL injury until proven otherwise,” said Sutterer in his video. “This is actually the similar position to what we see with sports like basketball or football when somebody is running and then they jump or they cut.”
On close examination Sutterer believed he was able to pinpoint the exact moment the injury occurred.
“Of course, Rakic’s lead leg – his left leg – was getting beaten up all night by Blachowicz, but this was actually the right leg. If you look closely, here, you can actually see the pop. What we’re seeing there is essentially the tibia, or the shinbone, that’s displaced forward or anterior, and all of a sudden right there, pops back into its proper position.”
In major sports ACL injuries usually mean an athlete is out of action for around a year. These injuries also often require surgery.
Prior to the TKO loss last night, Rakic had won back to back wins over former title challengers Thiago Santos and Anthony Smith. Before that he lost a split decision to Volkan Oezdemir; in a fight many felt the judges scored incorrectly. That loss to Oezdemir is the only other defeat on Rakic’s 17 fight record.