Stephen Thompson reveals he has signed to fight Shavkat Rakhmonov at UFC 296: ‘I can’t wait’

Stephen Thompson confirms UFC 296 fight with Shavkat Rakhmonov I've accepted

Former two-time welterweight title challenger, Stephen Thompson has revealed tonight that upon an offer from promotional brass – the Simponsville native has put pen to paper on a bout agreement to fight the undefeated Shavkat Rakhmonov at UFC 296 on December 16.

Thompson, a former title chaser under the banner of the organization, has been sidelined since forced a fourth round corner’s stoppage TKO against recent feature Kevin Holland in the main event of UFC Orlando back in December of last year in ‘The Sunshine State’.

Expected to return at UFC 291 back in July against Brazilian striker, Michel Pereira, Thompson elected against fighting the former after he missed weight for the non-title welterweight clash, removing himself from the card.

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Stephen Thompson reveals he’s accepted a fight with Shavkat Rakhmonov for UFC 296

And despite finding himself linked with a welterweight striking battle against the unbeaten, Ian Machado Garry before the close of this year, Thompson has confirmed he is set to fight the Dubliner’s training partner, the above-mentioned, Rakhmonov at UFC 296 in December.

“UFC offered and I’ve accepted, @Rakhmonov1994 (Shavkat Rakhmonov) let’s close out the year strong,” Stephen Thompson posted on his official X account. “Dec 16 can’t wait.” 

Himself yet to return since he landed a third round rear-naked choke win over common-foe, Geoff Neal at UFC 285 back in March, Uzbekistan-born contender, Rakhmonov recently saw a planned Noche UFC co-headliner against former interim middleweight title challenger, Kelvin Gastelum shelved.

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Boasting a stunning 100 percent finish rate over the course of his undefeated 17-0 professional career, Rakhmonov, the current number six ranked welterweight contender has notched eight knockout wins and a further nine submission victories.

UFC 296 takes place on December 16. from the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada – with an undisputed welterweight championship fight between reigning division champion, Leon Edwards, and former interim gold holder, Colby Covington slated to take main event honors.

Who wins at UFC 296; Stephen Thompson or Shavkat Rakhmonov?