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Shavkat Rakhmonov reveals ideal next opponents including Nick Diaz and Jorge Masvidal

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Shavkat Rakhmonov is ready for more serious competition and bigger names as he starts to fight for the UFC title.

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Fresh off a second-round win over Neil Magny on Saturday, the undefeated welterweight is wasting no time looking ahead with several opponents he’s interested in as he hopes to build on his perfect 16-0 record (all 16 of those victories ended in knockouts or submissions). ).

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“As always, I’m not going to rush,” Rakhmonov said, through an interpreter, about the timing of his next fight, speaking at the UFC Vegas 57 post-match press conference.

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“I’m going to take my time, relax and appreciate everything with my team, but I want to meet Steven Thompson, Nick Diaz, [Jorge] Masvidal. Let’s go to.”

“Wonder Boy” was actually the first name he mentioned in his post-fight interview after completing a guillotine choke to eliminate Magni with just two seconds left in the second round.

It was another dominant display for Rakhmonov, who was in complete control throughout the fight before fixing a submission to keep his finishing streak alive.

“Nil is a good opponent,” Rakhmonov said. “That’s why I didn’t force action. I took my time. Just waiting for him to make a mistake and catch him.

“I had a good grip [on the guillotine choke]. I was sure of it. But since there was so little time left, I expected Neil to protect him. But perhaps after two rounds of beating he didn’t want to continue. Usually with a grip like that, it takes me seven or eight seconds to put someone to sleep.”

Following the win, Rakhmonov was also asked about a possible fight with Sean Brady as he continues to wait for information on his next opponent, who has also challenged several top welterweights in recent weeks.

“He’s very good,” Rakhmonov said of Brady. “He is a very good fighter, I think he is also invincible. His time will come and we will meet face to face. It depends on the UFC.”

With a 4-0 record in the UFC, Rakhmonov is sure to make his biggest leap up the welterweight ladder – he entered Saturday’s tournament ranked 13th in the global MMA Fighting rankings – after defeating established contenders like Magni though he is still gaining traction with fans who may not recognize him yet.

Despite quietly amassing an impressive resume, the 27-year-old Kazakh fighter hasn’t received as much hype as Khamzat Chimaev, another undefeated welterweight on the roster.

None of this seems to bother Rakhmonov, as he shrugged off the Chimaev question but trusted the UFC to decide when and how he would be pushed.

“It depends on Dana White. [how to promote me]”, Rakhmonov said.

With three undefeated fighters — Rakhmonov, Chimaev and Brady — all creeping up to the top of the welterweight division, the UFC president is embarrassed by wealth as he begins to look ahead to 2022 and beyond.


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