Undefeated welterweight sensation Shavkat Rakhmonov secured his seventeenth straight win by submitting 170-pound veteran Geoff Neal on the UFC 285 pay-per-view (PPV) main card last weekend in Las Vegas, a victory that is likely to help “Nomad” continue his climb up the division rankings.
Far enough for a title shot?
“He’s a great opponent, no one finished him before in a fight,” Rakhmonov said about Neal during the UFC 285 post-fight press conference (watch it here). “I’m very happy. I’ve been saying one or two fights before the title shot. I’m ready now. You know Colby Covington, you are next or a title shot next.”
Covington, a two-time welterweight title challenger, has not competed since his unanimous decision victory over Jorge Masvidal at UFC 272 roughly one year back. That said, “Chaos” is ready, willing, and able to fight, according to promotion president Dana White, who is not opposed to Covington vs. Rakhmonov.
“That’s fun. It’s a fun one,” White said during the presser. “I’m not making the fight [right now]. I’m just saying I didn’t know [Rakhmonov called him out], but well see. Colby’s ready to fight. He’s ready to fight anybody. We’ve reached out to him for a couple of different fights and he said yes to it, but it just didn’t work out.”
UFC welterweight champion Leon Edwards will defend his 170-pound strap against former titleholder Kamaru Usman in the UFC 286 PPV main event later this month in London, England. Elsewhere in the Top 5, streaking welterweight contenders Khamzat Chimaev and Belal Muhammad await their next assignments.
Matchmakers certainly have their work cut out for them.