New York Giants may choose between Colt McCoy and Alex Smith for 2021’s backup

Backup quarterbacks don’t stay in the limelight for long most of the time, but the New York Giants found out last season why they can be so important. Daniel Jones struggled with injury in the later season and the Giants had their playoff hopes dashed in part because they were forced to rely on Colt McCoy when Jones was unavailable. While Jones is expected to be healthy this season, it’s unclear if the Giants plan to strengthen the backup spot just in case.

This offseason, of course, the Giants are trying to cut costs – and in all likelihood, that’s part of why they’re content with McCoy over bringing in an outsider for more money.

Based on reports from Jordan Raanan, it seems like the Giants are leaning towards keeping McCoy around.

“Good mentor,” one source said to describe part of what McCoy brings to the table…

By all accounts, the Giants were happy with McCoy’s performance in the backup role and he enjoyed his time in their program. And there seems to be no doubt McCoy wants to continue playing.

McCoy isn’t the only option

On the other hand, the Giants have an intriguing option to consider in Washington quarterback Alex Smith. Smith is set to be 37 years old but his performance last season proved that he’s still in the backup quarterback conversation around the league.

Washington released him following his success in bringing them the division title after the starting job once again ended up in his lap. In the event that something happens to Daniel Jones again, a lot of fans would feel safer with Smith as the starter instead of McCoy.

However, the Giants may not be able to pick up Smith for as cheaply as they would want because there appears to be interest from other teams thanks to Smith’s accomplishments last season. The Chicago Bears, notably, are coached by Matt Nagy – who worked with Smith in Kansas City and may provide a more attractive destination for the free agent.

With the Giants needing to get their salaries down this offseason, it seems like the addition of a better backup like Smith may be hard. However, there is at least one big option on the market and last season proved why the Giants could use a better backup in the first place.

Todd McShay’s mock draft has New York Jets taking a QB/LB

New York Jets

Todd McShay’s third mock draft has the New York Jets addressing both sides of the ball through their first-round pair.

The latest projections from ESPN draft analyst Todd McShay has the New York Jets addressing their issues on both sides of the ball. In his third mock draft, the Jets would pick BYU quarterback Zach Wilson with the second overall pick while using the latter pick on Georgia linebacker Azeez Ojulari with the 23rd choice obtained from Seattle.

With the selection of Wilson, McShay noted in his analysis that he not fully decided on whether the Jets should let Sam Darnold go. He simply believes that no matter who owns the No. 2 pick, which could be shifted in a trade, the holders will choose Wilson.

“The logic here stands from my last mock draft: I expect Wilson to be the No. 2 overall pick, whether or not it is the Jets making it,” McShay says in his analysis available to ESPN+ subscribers. “Projecting this pick isn’t necessarily suggesting they should or will move on from Sam Darnold, but if they do, Wilson is the obvious next move. If they don’t, watch for a QB-needy team to trade up to take him here. Wilson is creative and can extend plays, he can hit the deep ball and his toughness in the pocket stands out.”

With the pick owned through the Jamal Adams trade, McShay has the Jets addressing their edge rushing situation. Ojulari led the SEC with 9.5 sacks last season and earned the defensive MVP award in January’s Peach Bowl with three quarterback takedowns in Georgia’s 24-21 victory over Cincinnati on New Year’s Day.

“They need someone who can get home on the QB besides Quinnen Williams,” McShay says. “Ojulari is a pass-rush specialist of sorts, showing good speed, bend, and first-step quickness.”

McShay notes that conventional wisdom dictates that the Jets should probably try to land an offensive weapon for their new quarterback, but he says that there are other avenues to replenish those areas.

“As for the lack of playmakers on offense to support Wilson, keep an eye on free agency this month and then Day 2 at the draft,” he said. “Numerous high-end receivers and running backs will be available.”

In McShay’s previous mock, he had the Jets indeed stocking up on offensive talent, using the 23rd choice on Clemson rusher Travis Etienne.

Geoff Magliocchetti is on Twitter @GeoffJMags

New York Giants: Potential draft replacements for Kevin Zeitler

new york giants, wyatt davis

The New York Giants are actively clearing cap space this week. They cut two veterans, Golden Tate and David Mayo, to clear over $8 million in cap space. But the Giants’ front office is not done yet. Now, there are reports that the Giants are looking to move on from guard Kevin Zeitler.

According to Jason La Canfora, the Giants are trying to move Kevin Zeitler and via trade due to his high salary cap hit. However, if they cannot find a trade partner, New York will likely release their starting right guard to free agency. Cutting/trading Zeitler would clear around $12 million in cap space for the Giants.

Of course, it is still possible for Zeitler to return to New York. The Giants could restructure or extend Kevin to clear cap space and keep him around simultaneously. But if the team truly does decide to move on from the 31-year-old veteran, they will need to find his replacement. There will be a number of free-agent offensive guards on the market this month, but looking ahead to the 2021 NFL Draft, there will also be a prime list of targets for the Giants to consider in April.

2021 NFL Draft offensive guards for the Giants to target

It would be difficult for the Giants to replace Kevin Zeitler’s consistency on their offensive line. He let up only 28 pressures in the 2020 season and was the Giants’ best offensive lineman. Yet, there are some intriguing prospects that could develop into quality starters for the Giants in this year’s draft.

Wyatt Davis

The top offensive guard for the Giants to target is a player that has drawn comparisons to Kevin Zeitler. Right guard Wyatt Davis out of Ohio State is unlikely to be there for the Giants in the second round. However, if he is there, New York would hit a home run by selecting him. Davis is a player the Giants could even consider trading up to select at the end of round one if they need to replace Zeitler.

Wyatt Davis totaled 865 pass-block snaps in his career at Ohio State. On those snaps, Davis allowed only 4 sacks and 1 quarterback hit (PFF). He is a phenomenal pass protector and a mauler in the run game. Davis could start instantly on the Giants’ offensive line.

Landon Dickerson

Joe Judge loves versatility. Alabama offensive lineman Landon Dickerson is as versatile as they come. While he might be listed as a center, Dickerson is an option for the Giants because he played multiple positions in college. Dickerson logged snaps at every position on the offensive line during his time at Alabama. He played the majority of his snaps at center, but did play over 200 snaps at right guard in 2019 and could make the transition back there in the pros.

Unfortunately, Landon Dickerson suffered a torn ACL last season. This does make him a risky selection early in the draft. But if he is able to recover from this injury, odds are, Dickerson will be a high-quality NFL offensive lineman.

Deonte Brown

Another Alabama product could be an intriguing option at offensive guard for the Giants in this year’s draft. Deonte Brown played primarily left guard for Alabama in 2020, but he did play over 500 snaps at right guard in 2019. Brown has demonstrated the ability to play on either side of the center.

Brown is the definition of a hog molly. He’s humungous at 6 feet 4 inches, 350 pounds. Deonte Brown is a brawler that wins with brute force. He never surrendered a sack in his three-year collegiate career and has plenty of power out of his stance. While he might not be the most refined prospect, Deonte Brown is a player the Giants could consider in the middle rounds of the 2021 NFL Draft.

UFC 259 Preview: Islam Makhachev – Drew Dober

Tomorrow night on the main card of UFC 259, we will see a very fun matchup in the lightweight division. Two top prospects will go head-to-head as Islam Makhachev (18-1) takes on Drew Dober (23-9).

Makhachev is already being touted as Khabib 2.0 by many in the media. The UFC‘s lightweight champion, Khabib Nurmagomedov, is a lead training partner of Islam Makhachev. Both men are from Dagestan and they’ve grown up together in the gym.

Makhachev also trains out of AKA just like Khabib. The lightweight champion is one of the lead cornermen for Makhachev tomorrow night. Makhachev has incredible wrestling, but his striking is also very advanced.

The reason why many are calling him Khabib 2.0 is the fact that his striking is already at such a high level. It’s hard to find a weakness in Makhachev’s game which is why many are saying that he will be the lightweight champion one day.

Drew Dober is trying to stop all the hype around Makhachev. Dober is a sizable underdog, but many are underestimating just how good he is. Since 2017, he’s only lost one fight and that was against top ten contender, Beneil Dariush.

Dober is one of the dark horses in the UFC‘s lightweight division. He has a golden opportunity tomorrow night to silence the hype around Makhachev on the biggest stage possible. Dober’s all around game will make it a very difficult fight for Islam Makhachev.

UFC 259 Prediction

When it comes to UFC 259, there’s a clear reason as to why Islam Makhachev is the favorite. He might have the advantage everywhere this fight goes. While many will say Dober has the striking advantage, I actually think it’s relatively even.

For Drew Dober, one thing to watch for is his right hook. I’ve seen Makhachev susceptible to getting hit with right hands and Dober does have the power to hurt him. However, I’m not sure Dober is going to be able to stop Makhachev from taking him down.

Makhachev is going to dictate where this fight takes place. If he wants to stand, I believe they will stand. However, if he wants to take this down, I’m not sure Drew Dober can stop it. Dober will make him work for everything tomorrow at UFC 259, but I see this being another win for Islam Makhachev.

Prediction: Islam Makhachev by Unanimous Decision

New York Yankees Recap: Gleyber Torres homered and Domingo German looked good in the Yankee tie

New York Yankees, Gleyber Torres

The New York Yankees were back at George M. Steinbrenner in St. Petersburg, Florida today to face the Detroit Tigers. The game ended tied up. It was an All-Star lineup today to start the spring training game. On the mound for the Yankees was Domingo German, who hasn’t pitched in a major league game for 534 days after coming off a suspension for domestic abuse. The Yankees believe he has rehabilitated but will be watching his play on and off the field this season. German was 18-4 in 2019 in 143 innings.  He will want to pitch well as he contends for that fifth spot in the Yankees rotation.

It was another beautiful sunny day for baseball with a temp in the mid-’70s. German started well, sticking out his first opponent with 3 pitches. German has a one-two-three inning in his first half-inning in nearly a year and a half. In the bottom of the frame, the Yankees faced Detroit’s Matthew Boyd, who had a terrible year last season. DJ LeMahieu led off by walking. Aaron Judge was next with a line drive out. Aaron Hicks flew out. Giancarlo Stanton walked, but DJ had already advanced on a passed ball. Luke Voit lined out for the final out of the inning.

The New York Yankees hope to keep Aaron Judge and Giancarlo healthy because the two make the lineup even more imposing. Since 2019 in 264 games, the Yankees have only had the duo on the field together for 38 games.

At the top of the 2nd, Wilson Ramos doubled off German, but he then recorded three straight outs. Domingo German looked good in his spring training debut. Gleyber Torres led off the bottom of the frame, striking out. Next up was Brett Gardner; he flew out to left-center. Gary Sanchez, who will have a magnifying glass on him during spring training, also flew out. Matt Boyd also looked good in his two innings, putting down the Yankees in order at the bottom of the second.

Michael King, another starter that’s competing for a spot in the rotation, pitched for the Yankees in the top of the 3rd. King put the Tigers away on 13 pitches. At the bottom, Bryan Garcia was on the mound for the Tigers. Miguel Andujar flew out. Back at the top of the lineup, the “machine” DJ LeMahieu singled. Judge hit a long one just short of the right-field fence. Hicks, with two outs, singled as DJ made it into 3rd. Stanton up for his second time ground out, leaving two on base as the game remained scoreless after three innings.

King out for the fourth inning grounded out Jacoby Jones but allowed a bloop single to Willi Castro. Wilson Ramos struck out, and Spencer Torkelson grounded out. So King also had a two-inning fine performance. Tyler Alexander on the mound for the Tigers, who is a strikeout king, once struck out 9 players in a row. He showed his stuff, striking out Luke Voit. But he wasn’t so lucky with Gleyber Torres, who hit one just over the centerfield wall. Gardy grounded out. Sanchez closed out the inning, striking out looking. Yankees 1 Tigers 0.

Nick Nelson pitched the fifth. Baddoo singled, but Gary Sanchez caught him stealing. Nelson put down the rest of the side. At the bottom, Andujar flew out, but DJ got his second hit of the game, making it 2-2 with a walk. Judge followed with a long ball that jumped the french for a ground-rule double, moving pinch-runner Hoy Jun Park to third; Beltre was put in for Judge at second. Hicks ground out with runners staying put. In his third at-bat, Stanton flew out to far left center ending the inning and leaving two runners on base.

At the top of the sixth, Luis Garcia came out for the New York Yankees; he put down three straight Tigers. The  Yankees back at-bat: Mike Ford tried to re-establish himself after a poor season last year and had a long fly ball to left. Oswald Peraza struck out, and Trey Amburgey also flew out for a quick sixth inning.

Tyler Lyons out for the top of the seventh; he got out of the inning, leaving one Tiger on base for another scoreless half for the Tigers. Robinson Chirinos led off the bottom, walking, followed by an Alvarez single. Hoy Jun Park flew out, but Chirinos slid into third base. Beltre struck out, and Lamarre grounded out, stranding another two runners.

Luis Medina was on the mound at the top of the eight. The Yankees have high hopes for Medina who is only 21 years old. He walked Jacob Robson, Robson stole second, Clemens walked as Medina struggled to find the zone. A wild pitch and the runners advanced. Hasse struck out, one away. Woodrow grounded out but Robson scored to tie the game up. Pinero walked for Medina’s third walk of the half. His fourth walk was to Greiner, loading the bases.

Acting manager Medoza replaced Medina with Addison Russ tried to get the Yankees out of a bases-loaded jam with two outs. Russ got the job down by striking out  Brady Policelli. Yankees 1 Tigers 1. The Yankee’s Austin Wells walked at the bottom of the eighth. Mike Ford was called out on strikes. Wells took second on an errant pitch. Peraza struck out. Amburgey struck out to end the inning tied.

Luis Gil was on the mound for the Yankees and he made quick work of the Tigers. Chirinos led off for the Yankees and popped out to short center. Alvarez who singled in the second lined out sharply. Hoy Park walked. Park made it to third on an off throw to second that ricocheted out into the field Michael Beltre struck out. Final score New York Yankees 1 Detroit Tigers 1.



New York Yankees: DJ LeMahieu off to a hot start in Spring Training

New York Yankees, DJ LeMahieu

Unsurprisingly, New York Yankees‘ second baseman DJ LeMahieu has gotten off to a hot start this Spring Training. After placing in the top-5 of MVP voting in back-to-back seasons, it seems that LeMahieu hasn’t skipped a beat since the end of 2020.

In nine plate appearances thus far, LeMahieu is 4-of-8 with a walk and zero strikeouts.

LeMahieu had gotten two plate appearances in each of his first three spring games, but Friday’s game against the Tigers was the first time where had three plate appearances. Leading off, LeMahieu went down 1-2 in the count but managed to work his way back and draw a walk. Each of his next two at-bats saw him rip singles to right, ending his day without being retired.

So far, all of LeMahieu’s hits have been singles. However, his hot start gives him a .500 slugging and a .556 OPS on the spring.

Although it’s just March, it’s encouraging to see LeMahieu hitting the ball well once again. After being the Yankees’ offensive centerpiece the past two seasons, the team focused most of their winter efforts on making sure LeMahieu would return for years to come. After long negotiations, LeMahieu agreed to a 6-year, $90 million deal to stay in pinstripes through 2026.

As the month progresses, LeMahieu and other Yankee stars should begin to get more at-bats. With the condensed 2020 season, it’s important to make sure players aren’t being rushed back into action. By the end of March, players will likely be playing full games.

DJ LeMahieu’s hot spring start is encouraging in the fact that maybe he can continue his MVP caliber play into 2021.

From laughingstock to rising stock: What’s next for Randle and Knicks?

New York Knicks, Julius Randle

Julius Randle and the New York Knicks had a rocky relationship in their first year together that many thought they were headed to splitsville.

The chatter got louder when the Knicks drafted Obi Toppin, who plays Randle’s position when their most pressing need was a lead guard.

Randle had heard all the nasty things and acknowledged his shortcomings. He let it all out in a passionate essay entitled “Reputation,” which he wrote for The Players’ Tribune.

Last year’s debacle and Toppin’s arrival only fueled Randle more to change his ways.

“You just look at him physically. He’s in much better shape,” Knicks legend John Starks said on MSG PM on Thursday following another All-Star performance from Randle that sealed a winning record for the Knicks heading into the break.

“Last year, he’s just gonna wear down, especially during the latter part of the games. Now you see that he’s playing the whole 48-minute ballgame with his energy both on the offensive end and defensive end of the court. And that translates to the season that they have right now. It’s because he’s in better shape. And just being the leader out there on the court—making plays for others says a lot about his mentality as he came into this season with a whole different mindset on how he can be productive for this team.

In just 37 games, Randle was able to flip the script and repair his and the Knicks’ reputation around the league. His bravery to turn the mockery into a revolutionary performance halfway through the season has been the biggest storyline in the league, bar none.

The Knicks are winning, with Randle emerging as the All-Star the draft analysts thought he would become when he entered the league in 2014 as a lottery pick.

Finally, he’s arrived.

But what comes next will dictate his future with his beloved Knicks.

He professed his unconditional love for the Knicks. But will that be equally reciprocated?

We had seen this play out across the borough when another former Laker and reclamation project D’Angelo Russell blossomed into an All-Star and the best player of a fringe playoff team.

We all know how it ended.

These Knicks will go as far as Randle goes. If he can sustain his All-Star form and lead the Knicks to a playoffs berth, then an extension in the offseason worth $106-million over four years is a no-brainer. The Knicks would be foolish not to extend the offer in addition to the $19.8 million he’s due to make next season, the last year of the original three-year $62-million he signed.

But what if the Knicks fail to advance? Will Randle still be part of the Knicks’ future?

A player with an expiring contract will be easier to move in the offseason or next year’s trade deadline, but the risk of losing Randle for nothing also poses a significant risk.

“If he’s extended after August, he’s not trade-eligible,” ESPN Front Office Insider and former Brooklyn Nets assistant general manager Bobby Marks told Empire Sports Media.

Randle has thrived this season as the lone star of a young team knocking on the playoffs’ door. If the Knicks want to bang the door and go all the way, they will need more than Randle.

“He’s not a franchise player. He’s a solid third option on a high-level team,” Marks said.

Randle is still 26, and his stocks are at an all-time high. Is it time to sell high?

There’s no telling if this is already Randle’s ceiling or he’s just still scratching his potential. That’s a debate the Knicks front office will be having in the months to come.

A four-year deal starting at $24 million is still a bargain, and the Knicks would still have plenty of cap space to pay for a superstar.

The next burning questions that need answers are:

Is Randle going to be a superstar on a high-level team?

Is he willing to cede his current leading man status to fit in next to the superstar ESPN’s NBA Insider Brian Windhorst predicts that would force his way to New York?

What if Randle is the price the Knicks have to pay to get that superstar?

An extension deal in the summer has a six-month expiration date before it can be moved, Marks noted.

So if the Knicks delay extension talks, they have an expiring deal on a player in his prime years that teams would covet. But if they extend him on or before August, they have a player locked up in his prime years they can keep or move in a trade for a superstar.

Randle can bet on himself and play out the last year of his current deal, then enter unrestricted free agency. If he elevates his game further next season, he would command a bidding war for his services in the open market. That would hurt the Knicks’ chances of retaining him and the current core and creating cap space for another superstar.

“Yes, [other teams can offer him higher than the $106-million] and so can the Knicks,” Marks noted if ever Randle bets on himself and becomes an unrestricted free agent in 2022.

Randle and the Knicks have come a long way since their rocky start. But sooner rather than later, they have a big decision to make. Are they in for the long haul or just a fling?

Follow this writer on Twitter: @alderalmo

Yankees: Brian Cashman discusses Luis Severino, Jasson Dominguez, and other topics

New York Yankees, Brian Cashman

New York Yankees’ general manager Brian Cashman talked to reporters over Zoom on Friday, and covered lots of topics, most notably Luis Severino’s recovery and an update on top outfield prospect Jasson Dominguez.

Regarding Severino, the Yankees’ boss said that he is still going through his rehab from last spring’s Tommy John surgery. He declined to say exactly when he will return to mound work, but he did say that the team expects him to do it “shortly.”

“I don’t want to give the wrong information, [but] it’s going really well,” Cashman said on Severino’s progression. “. … He’s due to get on the mound again shortly. … but I don’t have the exact bullpen date.”

About Dominguez, who is by most outlets the Yankees’ top prospects, Cashman said that he is honing his skills while he waits for a minor league season to take place, like every other prospect.

“He’s like everybody else in the minor league population waiting for a minor league/spring training report time and then seeing where it takes him,” Cashman said. “He’s now one of many that will be competing for a spot on a roster, and what roster that turns out to be remains to be seen. But all those evaluations will take place when we have a collection of all the talent, including himself.

“We need to get his career going just like a number of the other prospects that we have.”

The Yankees’ GM also talked about Gleyber Torres

Cashman recently said that Yankees’ shortstop Gleyber Torres had reported to last year summer camp out of shape. However, that is not the case this time around.

“He’s in good shape,” Cashman said. “I believe everyone’s reported in top shape and ready to get after it, so that’s a really encouraging circumstance — that’s the way you want it out of the starting gate. It sounds like everybody here for 2021 spring training showed up ready to go.”

Torres just homered in Friday’s spring training game and looks poised for a huge bounceback season.

The New York Rangers will be without Igor Shesterkin for at least Saturday

After practice on Friday, New York Ranger’s head coach David Quinn confirmed that goaltender Igor Shesterkin will miss at least Saturday’s game at New Jersey. Shesterkin suffered the lower-body injury late in the third period of the Ranger’s 6-1 victory over New Jersey. Shesterkin seemed to hurt his right leg with just under six minutes to play when he stretched to stop a 2-on-1 break and shot by Damon Severson. He went down without contact and had to be helped off the ice, dragging the leg.

Shesterkin did not practice on Friday. Alexandar Georgiev and Kieth Kinkaid were in the net for the practice session. Quinn did confirm that Georgiev will start against the Devils on Saturday afternoon while stating that they have yet to get feedback on Shesterkin’s injury.

Later on Friday, the Rangers updated his status and reported that Shesterkin is day-to-day with a mild groin strain.

Quinn also shared after practice that Kaapo Kakko will play for the first time after being placed on the NHL’s COVID-19 List.

The New York Rangers expected to elevate Kinkaid from the taxi squad.

For this season, due to the pandemic, the NHL created taxi squads consisting of between 4-6 players per team, including a minimum of one goalie. The players will practice and travel and be available in case a team needs to recall a player on short notice.

Mollie Walker of the New York Post reported through the Rangers PR department that Kinkaid will backup Georgiev on Saturday.

Kinkaid, the veteran NHL goalie was signed by the Rangers for just such a purpose. He signed as a free agent to a two-year, $1.65 million contract with the New York Rangers on October 9, 2020.

The Long Island native signed an entry-level contract with the New Jersey Devils in April 2011 after his sophomore season with Union College.

After time in the Devils and Columbus Blue Jacket’s organization, Kinkaid spent last season as a member of the Montreal Canadiens organization. He played six games for the Canadiens, posting a .875 save percentage. Kinkaid was placed on waivers on December 2, 2019. After going unclaimed off waivers, he was assigned to the Canadiens’ AHL affiliate, Laval Rocket. In his first return to the AHL since the 2014–15 season, Kinkaid collected just 3 wins in 13 games with the Rocket. On February 29, 2020, Kinkaid was re-assigned on loan by the Canadiens to the Charlotte Checkers of the AHL, the primary affiliate of the Carolina Hurricanes.





UFC 259 Preview: Thiago Santos – Aleksandar Rakic

Kicking off the UFC 259 main card is a pivotal matchup in the light heavyweight division. Top four light heavyweight contenders, Thiago Santos (21-8) and Aleksandar Rakic (13-2) will battle it out as they look to take a step towards a UFC title shot.

If you want to just look at someone who appears to be a future champion at 205, look no further than Aleksandar Rakic. Rakic has all of the tools and the attributes he needs to become a UFC champion.

He possesses great striking with power, he has a really good ground game and once he’s on top of you, it’s hard to get back up. He’s very big for the weight class and he also has really good cardio to go with it.

Since making his UFC debut back in 2017, Rakic is 5-1 with the lone loss being a split decision to Volkan Oezdemir. Rakic is coming off of a dominant win against Anthony “Lionheart” Smith in his last fight.

Thiago Santos needs a rebound at UFC 259. Santos is the second ranked contender in the light heavyweight division, but he’s looking at a potential three-fight losing streak if he can’t get it done tomorrow night.

Santos fought Jon Jones to a split decision in 2019. However, he completely tore his knee apart in that fight. He returned a few months ago to face Glover Teixeira and he didn’t look like the same guy.

The power was still there, but the movement of Santos was not. His movement and confidence play right into his power which makes him so dangerous to other light heavyweights. If he doesn’t have that at UFC 259, he could be in for a long night.

UFC 259 Prediction

This is a fight that I’m completely on the fence about. Thiago Santos has all the skill needed to get the win here, but I just don’t know what Thiago Santos we will see tomorrow night. Is his movement going to be improved? Will he feel more stable on those legs?

We know that Aleksandar Rakic is going to move forward at UFC 259. Rakic will put pressure on Santos and he’s going to come heavy with his shots. Santos still has the power to hurt Rakic with counters, however, if he doesn’t have good movement, he’s going to be a sitting duck.

I really like Aleksandar Rakic in this matchup considering where both men are in their careers. Now, would it shock me to see Santos land a bomb and knock out Rakic tomorrow night? Absolutely not.

However, at the end of the day, I think Rakic is going to move forward and will not let Santos get off those power shots. I’m also expecting a few takedowns from Rakic. I think Rakic gets this fight down for good in the third to pickup the TKO win at UFC 259.

Prediction: Aleksandar Rakic by TKO – Round 3