UFC 296: Shavkat Rakhmonov demands title shot after dominant win over Stephen ‘Wonderboy’ Thompson to extend undefeated streak to 18

Shavkat Rakhmonov kept his undefeated record intact with a second-round submission victory over Stephen Thompson, a two-time title challenger. Thompson, a two-time title challenger, faced Rakhmonov in the welterweight bout, which served as the featured match in the main card.

Rakhmonov maintained his 100 percent finish record with the conclusion of the fight. This was the only fight in the main card that ended in a submission. The welterweight title was on the line in the main event of UFC 296 and the champion Leon Edwards defended his title.

Shavkat Rakhmonov beats Wonderboy

Before the fight, Rakhmonov held the 5th rank in the welterweight division compared to Thompson at 6th. However, the closeness in rankings did not reflect in the fight as Rakhmonov utilized his superior grappling to dominate Thompson. Nevertheless, Thompson showcased his expected superiority in striking during the contest.

The first round of the bout was fairly close, with Thompson’s striking prowess initially keeping Rakhmonov at bay. However, Rakhmonov later clinched up Thompson against the fence and attempted takedowns, which Thompson successfully defended. It was a significant improvement from Thompson’s fights with Belal Muhammad and Gilbert Burns.

However, Rakhmonov successfully took Thompson down in the second round and used his superior grappling prowess to full effect. Thompson defended the initial choke attempt but tapped out with less than 10 seconds remaining in the second choke. It was the fifth submission victory for Rakhmonov in his 6 fights in the promotion.

It was the first time that Thompson was submitted in his professional MMA career. The victory over Thompson has put Rakhmonov in contention for the title with only Belal Muhammad as the only other fighter. Muhammad weighed in as the backup for Edwards vs Covington and has high hopes of getting the shot.

Shavkat Rakhmonov aims title shot next

Shavkat made it 18 out of 18 finishes in his 18-fight MMA career. Now, the undefeated welterweight fighter has 10 KO/TKO and 8 submissions on his resume. Moreover, Thompson has never been submitted and Rakhmonov became the first to do so.

The victory has put him in title contention and he also thinks so as he said, “Stephen Thompson is very tough. Opening, and I’m happy that I was able to finish him, and I believe I’m worthy of a title.”

“I believe I’ll fight the winner of the title fight. I’m ready to fight him,” Rakhmonov further added when Rogan specifically asked about fighting the winner of Leon Edwards vs Colby Covington. Rakhmonov had earlier said that Belal Muhammad deserves the title next in his interview on the Morning Kombat with Luke Campbell.

Shavkat Rakhmonov was the biggest favorite on the fight card and rightfully so. He has been the favorite in his 6 fights in the UFC where he finished 5 via submission and 1 via KO/TKO. Dana White was noncommittal when asked whether Muhammad is next in line for a title shot, hinting at an opportunity for Rakhmonov to slide in

Do you think Shavkat Rakhmonov will fight for the welterweight title next? Leave your prediction below!


587 articles

A free spirited human being with a passion for combat sports.


Leave a Comment