With his big first round technical knockout win (watch it) at UFC Vegas 47 on Saturday night (Feb. 5, 2022), Shavkat Rakhmonov solidified himself as a smoking-hot Welterweight prospect to watch. And these days, that means getting lumped in with another extremely fast riser in the ranks: Khamzat Chimaev.
While Chimaev has one more UFC win under his belt, the two share a lot of similarities. Both are undefeated. Both have been taking out their opponents quick, usually in the first round. And neither has taken any serious damage in their fights ... quite a rare feat especially given the level of competition they’ve faced.
You’d think Shavkat would appreciate the comparison, given many people pegged Khamzat as their 2020 “Fighter of the Year.” But, the Kazakhstani fighter is sick of hearing about Chimaev, and people suggesting they fight now.
“It’s just annoying, getting reminded of a certain individual all the time,” he said in an interview following his win. “I’m saying wait, we’ll see when the time comes. He will win some fights, I will win some fights. And then we’ll meet. Maybe our fight will be title bout at that point.”
As for Rakhmonov’s thoughts on an almost confirmed showdown between Chimaev and Gilbert Burns?
“I don’t know, I think it’s a good fight for Chimaev,” Shavkat said. “It’s a necessary one for him, because he wants to get to the top fast. If Chimaev wins, he gets there. If Burns wins, he’s still in kind of a losing position....”
So, I know Shavkat just said don’t expect a fight with Chimaev any time soon, but who do you guys think takes it? And does Rakhmonov deserve the same level of hype Khamzat was getting two years ago?
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