MMA fighting

Shavkat Rakhmonov ‘bored’ by Khamzat Chimaev comparisons, eyes next fight against Michel Pereira

Shavkat Rakhmonov doesn’t like comparisons to fellow UFC welterweight Khamzat Chimaev.

Earlier this month, Rakhmonov had the best performance of his UFC career when he knocked out Carlston Harris with a spinning hook kick and follow-up ground and pound. The finish was the 15th in Rakhmonov’s 15-fight career and earned him his first UFC Performance of the Night bonus. This only deepened the comparisons between Rakhmonov and Chimaev. But while many fighters might appreciate being compared to the 2020 Breakout Fighter of the Year, Rakhmonov wants the comparisons to stop.

“I’m bored because I’m not Khamzat, I’m Shavkat,” Rakhmonov said through his translator on MMA hour. “That’s the question I get asked the most, when are we going to fight. Time will show. Right now I’m just very annoyed by that question.

Although Rakhmonov may be annoyed by the comparisons, there are undeniably some similarities between the two men. Both men are 27 years old and undefeated in their MMA careers, with 100% finish rates. Both men were highly touted prospects before making their UFC debuts in 2020, and since then both men have looked dominant inside the octagon.

However, while Chimaev is currently aiming to win the title as soon as possible, Rakhmonov is content to move up the welterweight ranks, saying he hopes to face Michel Pereira next.

“I think he’s a very exciting fighter,” Rakhmonov said. “He’s a very interesting fighter who likes to mess with his opponents, and I just wanted to show myself, that I can shut him down and I can finish him off. He couldn’t mess with me like that.

Pereira is unranked but is a fan favorite for his flashy fighting style and is currently on a four-fight winning streak. Periera last fought in January, winning a unanimous decision over Andre Fialho at UFC 270. As a practicing Muslim and with Ramadan around the corner, Rakhmonov hopes the UFC can book the match for this summer.

“End of June or beginning of July would be perfect,” Rakhmonov said.