Shavkat Rakhmonov UFC fighter

As UFC 296 approaches, the welterweight division is buzzing with anticipation, especially around Shavkat Rakhmonov, who recently addressed Colby Covington’s remarks about him.

Covington, known for his vocal presence, had previously downplayed Rakhmonov’s achievements, stating, “Seems like he’s just all hype, hasn’t really fought any of the top dogs in the division.”

However, Rakhmonov, unfazed by Covington’s words, shared his perspective during the UFC 296 pre-fight press conference. “We know [Colby] likes to trash talk, especially when he’s in front of the cameras, but I know when he’s face-to-face with me, he’s not going to say anything,” Rakhmonov said, highlighting the difference between Covington’s public persona and potential private interactions.

Shavkat Rakhmonov celebrates a UFC victory
Shavkat Rakhmonov celebrates a UFC victory (Zuffa LLC)

Rakhmonov’s focus, however, remains on his upcoming bout against Stephen “Wonderboy” Thompson. He expressed his readiness to adapt to Thompson’s unique karate style, noting, “Stephen Thompson has a tricky style… I had to make minor adjustments because of his footwork and his kick-heavy style.” His preparation reflects his respect for Thompson’s skills and his own commitment to maintaining his undefeated streak.

The Kazakh fighter’s rapid rise in the UFC is noteworthy. From his debut at UFC 254 to his recent victories, Rakhmonov has consistently proven his prowess, leading him to be the biggest favorite at UFC 296. His all-finish record, with a mix of submissions and knockouts, positions him as a versatile and dangerous opponent.

Looking ahead, Rakhmonov is eyeing a title shot, believing a win over Thompson will bring him closer to his goal. “I believe I’m very close to a title shot. I just need to win,” he stated confidently.

Rakhmonov’s journey is not just about his in-ring performance but also about the support he receives. He acknowledged the backing from his Kazakh fans, who have shown their enthusiasm across social media platforms, even targeting potential opponents like Covington.

As UFC 296 takes center stage at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, all eyes will be on Rakhmonov as he seeks to solidify his position in the welterweight division and potentially set up a future clash with the likes of Covington.

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