Shavkat Rakhmonov is ready to fight the best welterweights in the world. He is not a prospect or a future competitor. He’s awesome right now, ready to fight any member of the welterweight elite.
Not in a few fights or a few years – right now.
Objectively, this proclamation is premature and unproven. After all, Rakhmonov is yet to defeat a ranked opponent, and he is just three wins away in his UFC career. Many fighters start their careers strong, look like the next big thing, and are quickly chewed up and spat out at Bellator when a major weakness is revealed.
The risk of being egg-on-the-face with such a statement barely exists. If you’ve watched all three of his UFC fights, it’s pretty clear that Shavkat Rakhmonov is special. Khamzat Chimaev, the other 27-year-old welterweight prodigy, is also “unproven,” but few would say he’s anything but exceptional.
Rakhmonov is on the same playing field, but he actually fought tougher opposition before his UFC career. M-1 Global doesn’t hand out championship belts easily, but Rakhmonov stabbed his opposition to capture and defend the belt at 25.
The leap in competition to the UFC level hasn’t slowed his turnover down at all. He has now bulldozed a trio of experienced and capable veterans, men who have proven themselves in the fire time and time again.
Carlston Harris isn’t a household name, but the 11-year-old professional was undefeated inside the Octagon, and he has multiple wins over proven names. Despite his foe’s achievements and talent, Rakhmonov utterly destroyed the Brazilian, destroying him with an incredible spinning kick after hurting him earlier with a kick to the gut. The undefeated Kazakh fighter stopped his 15 opponents about equally by knockout and submission, showing himself a cut above like only an elite fighter can.
“Nomad” can do it all.
Of course, like all other fighters, he is flawed. Surely there are weaknesses to his specific game, openings that a skilled opponent can capitalize on. Luckily for Rakhmonov, he cuts through his opposition so quickly that it’s going to be damn hard to figure out what those flaws are! Good luck to his next opponent, who will try to discover those openings while dodging spin kicks and elite wrestling transitions.
Will Rakhmonov become champion? This is never certain, as there are too many variables at play. What is clear, however, is that Rakhmonov is among the few athletes selected who have the obvious potential to reach that highest peak.
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