Boasting arguably on the most impressive and most definitely exciting winning runs in the UFC today, Uzbekistan native, Shavkat Rakhmonov is hotly-tipped to continue in his rich-vein of winning form against former two-time welterweight title chaser, Stephen Thompson in their December clash at UFC 296.
Rakhmonov, who currently sports the number six rank in the official welterweight pile, turned in his whopping seventeenth professional victory – and seventeenth finish to boot back in March at UFC 285, submitting common-foe, Geoff Neal with a third round standing rear-naked choke win.
As for Thompson, the fan-favorite striking veteran will be sidelined for a year come his December fight with Shavkat Rakhmonov, most recently forcing a fourth round corner’s stoppage TKO win over recent Noche UFC feature, Kevin Holland at UFC Orlando in the pair’s headliner last December.
Shavkat Rakhmonov opens as betting favorite to beat Stephen Thompson at UFC 296
And amid the rise of Rakhmonov and his veteran status, number seven rated challenger, Thompson is currently riding a +320 betting underdog line against the former – who has opened as an impressive -410 betting favorite to dispatch Thompson at UFC 296.
Fans and punters alike can find a host of UFC betting sites to wager on outright winners of clashes as well as prop bets, ahead of what promises to be a blockbuster end-of-year schedule for the North American-based organization.
Making big noise since his arrival in the UFC, former M-1 Global welterweight kingpin, Rakhmonov made his Octagon bow against Alex Oliveira – stopping the Brazilian veteran with a first round guillotine choke submission win.
In consecutive victories and finishes since then, the 28-year-old has dispatched names like Neil Magny, and the above-mentioned, Neal – both with submission stoppages, which have gone a long way in earning the finishing starlet the moniker as a future welterweight champion under the promotion’s scrutiny.
Failing in two efforts to dislodge Tyron Woodley as welterweight champion in 2015, and 2016, respectively, Thompson will seek out one final championship push beginning with is end-of-year fight with Shavkat Rakhmonov – snapping a run of losses against both Gilbert Burns and Belal Muhammad with his TKO win over Holland.
Sidelined for some time, Simponsville veteran, Thompson also divulged recently that we may have seen a fight between himself and Shavkat Rakhmonov two years ago, until he candidly rejected a bout agreement from the UFC.
“It was a year and a half ao, maybe, I think, the UFC wanted me to fight Shavkat (Rakhmonov), and to be honest with you, I didn’t know who he was at the time,” Stephen Thompson said. “I think he’s only had, like, five fights in the UFC. Obviously, I turned it down, I didn’t know who the guy was. And then after that I tuned in and I saw him fight Neil Magny, saw him fight Geoff Neal, and I’m like, ‘Bro, this dude’s legit,’ and now he’s ranked above me.”
“So anybody’s that’s ranked above me, I told the UFC I’m down for,” Stephen Thompson explained. “This is the guy I think could possibly be welterweight champ at some point. He’s that good, undefeated, I think he has a 100 percent finish rate, so what better guy to go out there and show the world and the UFC that I deserve a title shot by fighting this guy.”