UFC welterweight prospect Shavkat Rakhmonov is targeting a clash with the unorthodox Michel Pereira next.
Rakhmonov returned to action this past weekend at UFC Vegas 47 for his third Octagon outing. Having arrived on MMA’s biggest stage as a highly touted 13-0 prospect, the Kazakhstani made a splash on debut by submitting divisional veteran Alex Oliveira inside one round at UFC 254 in 2020.
After submitting Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt Michel Prazeres in his sophomore appearance last June, Rakhmonov was presented with the challenge of Carlston Harris for his opening fight of 2022.
Venturing away from his imposing submission game, the 27-year-old put his knockout power and striking ability on full display inside Las Vegas’ Apex facility. After flooring his Guyanese opponent with a spinning hook kick, Rakhmonov swarmed Harris on the ground and knocked him out with some brutal ground-and-pound.
Rakhmonov Hopes To Add Another Brazilian To His Record
Having defeated two Brazilian natives and a longtime Brazilian resident fighting out of Rio de Janeiro, Rakhmonov is hoping to continue his decimation of the country’s welterweights in his next outing.
At the UFC Vegas 47 post-fight press conference, Rakhmonov called out a name not many seek to face, Michel Pereira. Having seen his Sanford MMA teammate Andre Fialho beaten by the Marabá native, “Nomad” wants his hands on “Demolidor” next.
“If you’re asking about who (is next), let’s give me Michel Pereira. He fought with my teammate Andre Fialho, so I want to fight with him.” (h/t MMA Junkie)
Pereira’s victory over Fialho at UFC 270 extends his win streak to four. Prior to his triumph over the Portuguese striker, the 28-year-old took home decision victories over Niko Price and Khaos Williams and submitted Zelim Imadaev. He was also well on his way to a triumph against Diego Sanchez before an illegal knee led to his disqualification.
If this matchup comes to fruition, on one side we’d have one of the most entertaining and unique fighters on the UFC roster, and on the other, one of the most highly-touted rising prospects in the promotion.
While Rakhmonov is undoubtedly one to watch moving forward, a victory over an established name like Pereira would certainly accelerate him towards the top.
Would you like to see Shavkat Rakhmonov face Michel Pereira next?