Stephen Thompson has responded after Shavkat Rakhmonov taunts him following his UFC 285 victory over Geoff Neal.
At the tail-end of 2022, Thompson found his way back into the win column after a back-and-forth brawl with Kevin Holland.
Since then, Thompson disclosed he was offered to fight Rakhmovov for that Dec.3 event but turned it down. The reason being he needed more time to prepare and sharpen his grappling before facing the undefeated Kazakhstani international.
Prior to picking up a TKO win over Holland, ‘Wonderboy’ had faced two of the best grapplers in the division, Gilbert Burns and Belal Muhammad. Both men used their advantageous skillsets to score unanimous decisions over Thompson.
Shavkat Rakmonov picks up 50k cheque
On Saturday past at UFC 285, Rakmonov took full advantage of being on a monstrous pay-per-view main card. The 28-year-old earned a $50,000 Fight of the Night cheque and moved to (17-0 MMA) with a third-round submission over Geoff Neal.
After attaining the biggest win of his career thus far, Rakmonov called out Colby Covington but did taunt Thompson after his comment about not being interested in fighting grapplers.
Who’s grappler now? @WonderboyMMA
— Shavkat “Nomad” Rakhmonov (@Rakhmonov1994) March 5, 2023
“Who’s grappler now?” Rakhmonov tweeted.
Thompson, in return, responded by doubling down on his previous disinterest in facing grapplers but did praise Rakhmonov’s performance.
Stephen Thompson responds
All due respect to you and your great performance but 0/4 on takedowns doesn’t make you “not” a grappler! Congrats on your victory! Let’s not forget you won by submission! But much love! 🙏🏻👊🏼 https://t.co/Gr3zX0oCbu
— Wonderboy (@WonderboyMMA) March 6, 2023
“All due respect to you and your great performance but 0/4 on takedowns doesn’t make you “not” a grappler! Congrats on your victory! Let’s not forget you won by submission! But much love!” Thompson responded.
Although it may seem like a possible matchup between Thompson vs Rakhmonov is far-fetched, Thompson may need to reconsider if he wants to make one last run to UFC championship gold.
Saturday night’s victory marked Rakhmonov’s fifth consecutive finish since joining the UFC in 2020, with wins over Alex Oliveira, Michel Prazeres, Carlston Harris, Neil Magny, and now, Geoff Neal.
Do you think Stephen Thompson will change his mind and face Shavkat Rakhmonov in the future?