Kazakh standout Shavkat Rakhmonov returned to the Octagon on Saturday night at UFC 285. Emanating from T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Rakhmonov looked to keep his undefeated streak and 100% finish rate intact against his toughest test to date. Meeting him inside the cage was No. 7 ranked welterweight, Geoff Neal. ‘Handz of Steel’ walked into the bout with back-to-back wins against Santiago Ponzinibbio and Vicente Luque.

Shavkat Rakhmonov quickly got things started with a head kick before clinching with Neal against the fence. Separating, the pair engaged in an entertaining back-and-forth battle on the feet. 90 seconds to go in the opening round, Rakhmonov landed a nasty head kick that caused a cut near Neal’s left eye. Of course, that didn’t stop Neal from continuing to attack, holding his own against Rakhmonov in the opening round.

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In the second round, Rakhmonov started to take over as repeated blows to the body began to slow down Neal. Still, Neal was more than willing to engage, keeping Rakhmonov on his toes. Neal picked up the pace in the third, likely knowing he needed a finish to walk out with a win. Neal landed a massive right hand early in the third that stumbled Rakhmonov. Neal’s corner could be heard desperately encouraging Neal to fight with urgency, but his gas tank was quickly depleting. Rakhmanov capitalized on the opportunity and landed a brutal right hand that rocked Neal. Moving in, Rakhmonov targeted the body with a knee that took the wind out of Neal.

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With Neal running for cover, Rakhmonov pursued and clinched against the fence. While there, Rakhmonov was able to cinch his arm under Neal’s chin and cranked on it, putting Neal to sleep with just seconds remaining in the third round.

Official Result: Shavkat Rakhmonov def. Geoff Neal via submission (standing rear-naked choke) at 4:17 of Round 3

Check Out Highlights from Shavkat Rakhmonov vs. Geoff Neal at UFC 285 Below:

Craig Pekios is a freelance writer born and raised in Bettendorf, IA. Joining LowKick MMA in May 2022, Craig has more than 2,500 articles published that focus on the world of mixed martial arts and boxing, including news, event previews, results, analysis, and op-eds. Aside from working with LowKick MMA, Craig has contributed to news outlets Overtime Heroics, Sportskeeda, and MiddleEasy.