UFC president Dana White had high praise for rising welterweight contender Shavkat Rakhmonov following his dominant submission victory over Stephen Wonderboy Thompson in the UFC 296 maincard event.
Rakhmonov extended his perfect professional record to 18-0 with the impressive win, utilizing his grappling to take Wonderboy down repeatedly before locking in a RNC in the second round to elicit the tap.
According to White, Rakhmonov’s grappling oriented gameplan surprise him at first, but ultimately paid major dividends.
“Yeah. He looked good. I was a little shocked at at the at the grappling, you know, pushing against the fence. I didn’t see that coming, but then he ended up getting the takedown and and and the submission,” White stated at the post-fight press conference.
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In winning, Rakhmonov became the first ever to submit Wonderboy in MMA competition. That fact was not lost on the UFC president either when speaking about the rising Kazakhstani talent.
“And, you know, the first guy to submit them. ”
At just 28 years old, Rakhmonov appears to have a very bright future ahead at 170 pounds. And with his well-rounded and fan-friendly skillset, it likely won’t be long before he earns his first UFC title opportunity.
However, White was reluctant to confirm if Rakhmonov will get the next title shot. It’s likely between Rakhmonov and Belal Muhammad with Rakhmonov likely slightly ahead considering the fact he was the only foreigner last night not to get booed by the audience.