Shavkat Rakhmonov, a welterweight prospect for the UFC, stood out among other competitors in the division last year thanks to his performances. Despite being only 28 years old, the fighter of Kazakh descent has quickly established a name for himself as a tough opponent in the division.
In a recent interview, he discussed Khamzat Chimaev and provided some further context for his opinions on the Chechen. While he did admit that he intended to face him later, Rakhmonov also believed that, should 'Borz' chose to go up, he would eventually succeed at middleweight.
Comparisons between the two have been very common among experts and fans because both athletes are regarded as some of the greatest prospects in the promotion. Yet, a future bout between the two is essential in order to decide who is the greater fighter. Rakhmonov claims that he has accepted the prospect that Chimaev would ultimately move to 185 owing to his weight problems.
“If we are meant to fight, we’re going to fight,” Rakhmonov said in an interveiw. “If not, it’s not a big deal. I have my own sports interest to compete with him, but (if) it’s not going to happen, it’s not a big deal.”
On March 4 at UFC 285 at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Rakhmonov will take on Geoff Neal in an attempt to enter the title picture. Every opponent the 28-year-old has faced has been defeated.
Most recently, in June 2022, he submitted Neil Magny at UFC on ESPN 38. Rakhmonov anticipates moving closer to the title if he can finish Neal (15-4 MMA, 7-2 UFC).