The undefeated Rakhmonov is slated to face UFC veteran Neil Magny tonight on the UFC Vegas 57 main card. He’s earned recent wins over the likes of Michel Prazeres and Carlston Harris.
While Rakhmonov is a potential dark horse in the UFC’s welterweight division, his name has fallen under the radar of some casual MMA fans. Fighters like Chimaev and other fast-rising stars have garnered the level of attention that matches their Octagon résumés.
During his UFC Vegas 57 pre-fight press conference, Rakhmonov was asked whether or not he feels he’s getting the respect he deserves for his recent success.
“Yeah, I believe I deserve more attention,” Rakhmonov said. “God’s willing, I’m the future UFC champion. Time will show it.”
Chimaev rose to prominence in 2020, earning three wins over Gerald Meerschaert, Rhys McKee, and John Phillips. Chimaev and Rakhmonov are comparable in their fast rises, but Rakhmonov isn’t a fan of being in the same conversation as Chimaev.
Rakhmonov went on to predict when he’ll emerge as the UFC’s 170lb king.
“I prefer to take it step by step. I don’t like to rush it. I believe in a year and a half or two years, I’m gonna be UFC champion.”
Rakhmonov, a former M-1 Global champion, made his UFC debut at UFC 254 in a first-round submission win over Alex Oliveira.
A win over Magny this weekend would not only propel Rakhmonov into the welterweight title picture but also boost his star power. It may not be long until Rakhmonov rivals the popularity of Chimaev and other impressive prospects.
Do you think Shavkat Rakhmonov is a future UFC champion?