Rakhmonov (15-0 MMA, 3-0 UFC) will face his most notable opponent to date when he takes on longtime division standout Neil Magny (26-8 MMA, 19-7 UFC) in a head-to-head matchup at the UFC Apex. in Las Vegas. The main card airs on ESPN after the prelims on ESPN2 and presents a big opportunity for the undefeated fighter from Kazakhstan.
So far, Rakhmonov has never lost a single fight in his career and finished off every opponent at a distance. He knows that Magni is not an easy player, but he thinks that this fight will allow him to prove himself.
“He’s a good opponent, a good test for me,” Rakhmonov said through an interpreter at a UFC event Wednesday on ESPN’s 38 media day. “I am ready to show that I am better than him and I am ready to show that I am better than anyone in the division. … I think I deserve more attention. God willing, I am a future UFC champion. Time will tell”.
Rakhmonov predicted that he would hold gold for the next 18-24 months. He knows that the 170lb weight class currently ruled by Kamaru Usman is a shark tank filled with some of the sport’s best fighters.
That is why it is important for Rakhmonov to take his career step by step. He said he was going to do his best to get Magni to the scheduled three rounds and continue his streak of early bouts, but he wouldn’t be upset if he had to go the distance for the first time given his quality as an opponent.
“My goal is to always win,” Rakhmonov said. “It doesn’t matter how. Just to have the judges or referee raise my hand. All that is needed. … I think the full distance is not a problem for me. The most important thing is to win. It doesn’t matter how.”
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