He may not be the biggest name in a welterweight division packed with big names, but Kazakhstan’s Shavkat Rakhmonov is on the verge of breaking into the elite bracket in the UFC’s 170-pound division.
Rakhmonov is not just undefeated, his 14-0 record also boasts a 100% finish rate, with seven wins by KO and seven by submission. It’s that propensity to score the finish that makes the former M-1 Global welterweight champion a clear and present danger to the established names in the division. However, despite his superb record, he hasn’t yet earned widespread acceptance as a contender at the top level.
The 27-year-old will make the third appearance of his UFC career on Saturday night when he takes on Brazil’s Carlson Harris on the main card of UFC Vegas 47. Harris is riding an impressive five-fight win streak that includes three knockouts and two submissions, with his most recent victory a first-round TKO of Impa Kasanganay last September.
It’s the perfect matchup to showcase both men’s abilities, but particular attention will be paid to how Rakhmonov responds to the challenge. He’s been virtually perfect through his career to date, but as the level of opposition starts to rise, how will he respond?
A glance at “Nomad’s” record suggests the reaction will be positive. He has already faced a couple of notable names in his early UFC career. He finished Alex “Cowboy” Oliveira via first-round submission in October 2020 and last June became the first man to submit Brazilian Michel Prazeres in 29 career fights.
Now Rakhmonov faces a Harris, dangerous finisher on an impressive win streak. He can dispatch him in the same clinical fashion he’s dealt with his previous 14 opponents, it’ll be time to put him up against top-ranked opposition.
And with his ability to finish the fight with strikes or subs, he could prove to be a major problem for whoever he faces.