Rakhmonov is undefeated in his professional career with a 16-0 record. He’s picked up recent wins over the likes of Neil Magny and Carlston Harris in the Octagon.
Rakhmonov made his UFC debut back in 2020 in the middle of Chimaev’s electric first calendar year with the promotion. But despite similar runs in the welterweight division, Rakhmonov isn’t seen as having the same level of marketability as Chimaev.
Ian Garry Cites Language Barrier As Rakhmonov’s Star Deterrent
During his UFC 276 pre-fight press conference, Garry gave his thoughts on Rakhmonov’s run and why it’s been undervalued by some.
“The only reason he isn’t more hyped than he is, is because of his lack of English,” Garry said of Rakhmonov. “That’s it. If he could sit up here and talk like me, he would be one of the top of the world. Because he’d be able to hype himself up. But I like how he sits there and goes, ‘I’m gonna let my performances [do the talking]’.
“When you take the media and all these media obligations out of it, and back to the purity of the sport… it’s like, let your fighting talk…that’s brilliant. The fact that he’s gotten so much respect in the game because of that, it’s so impressive. I can’t wait to see what’s next for him.”
Rakhmonov and Chimaev have been compared on multiple occasions during their careers, despite Rakhmonov’s annoyance with the comparison. While he feels he deserves more attention from the MMA community, he’s willing to let his performances do the talking as he marches closer to the title picture.
Rakhmonov has listed a few big names for his next UFC outing, including Stephen Thompson and Jorge Masvidal. A win over a top contender could be enough to move him into the upper echelon of the UFC’s biggest stars.
Do you agree with Ian Garry’s comments on Shavkat Rakhmonov?