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Shavkat Rakhmonov still without a fight following Noche UFC cancelation

What does a guy have to do to get a fight around here? Bueller ... Bueller ... Bueller ...

UFC 285 Ceremonial Weigh-in Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images

Undefeated Kazakh contender, Shavkat Rakhmonov (17-0), continues to sit on the sidelines without a fight.

The last time we saw “Nomad” was in March 2023 when he beat the brakes off Geoff Neal and submitted him with a standing choke at UFC 285 (watch highlights). Rakhmonov was supposed to return at last weekend’s Noche UFC event against Kelvin Gastelum, but Gastelum suffered a facial fracture and was forced to pull out.

UFC couldn’t find anyone to step in and face Rakhmonov, so now he’s stuck waiting again. And he may have to wait until 2024 for a fight.

“I’m still available for UFC 294 or UFC 295,” he wrote helpfully on X (formerly Twitter). Those are the October and November pay-per-view (PPV) events in October and November, respectively.

It’s shocking that a rising talent like Rakhmonov is stuck asking for fights on social media. But, Rakhmonov joins a growing cast of tough fighters who struggle to get even two bouts per year because no one wants to compete against them. Whether it’s the Welterweight Top 5 refusing to fight down (“Nomad” is ranked No. 6) or guys in the Top 15 who need to cash their win bonuses to make ends meet, everyone has a reason.

That doesn’t make it any less frustrating for Rakhmonov and fans who want to see the best fighting the best. UFC is typically really good at twisting arms and refusing to let fighters dodge the tough fights, but there’s something strange going on at Welterweight where fighters have learned that sometimes the best thing to do is nothing at all.

That worked for Colby Covington, who earned another title shot off his sole fight in the past two years. And with things moving along so glacially, why would anyone pick a fight with Rakhmonov before the end of 2023?

For complete Noche UFC results and play-by-play, click HERE.

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