Shavkat Rakhmonov is riding high following a third-round submission finish over Geoff Neal, and he’s eyeing gold at welterweight.
Rakhmonov and Neal shared the Octagon on the main card of UFC 285 this past Saturday night. In the end, Rakhmonov secured a rear-naked choke and that was all she wrote.
After the fight, Rakhmonov, who was the number nine-ranked UFC welterweight going into the fight with Neal, took to his Twitter account to call for a UFC Welterweight Championship opportunity.
“17:0, 100% finish rate. Actions speak louder than words. Give me title shot in Abu Dhabi card next.”
Some within the MMA world have clamored for a showdown between Rakhmonov and Khamzat Chimaev in the near future. Rakhmonov recently told Sportskeeda that while he’d like to compete against Chimaev, he won’t be losing any sleep if the fight doesn’t happen (via MMAJunkie).
“If we are meant to fight, we’re going to fight,” Rakhmonov told Sportskeeda through an interpreter. “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.”
While Rakhmonov believes a shot at the 170-pound gold is well deserved, he told reporters that he will exercise patience.
“I’m in no rush,” Rakhmonov said. “We have Ramadan month ahead of us, but saying that, a title fight in Abu Dhabi would be great. Etihad Arena would be full of Kazakhstan fans. It would be great for my country.”
Shavkat Rakhmonov will likely find himself at the number seven spot or higher once the official UFC rankings are updated following UFC 285. Whether or not he’s done enough to earn a UFC title opportunity next remains to be seen. Looking at the list of welterweights ahead of him on the ladder, Rakhmonov may need a win or two over top five opposition before getting a crack at gold.