Shavkat Rakhmonov faced his toughest challenge yet at UFC 285 PPV card on Saturday. He was 16-0 before and had just won against Neil Magny.
However, things took a turn when his next opponent, Geoff Neal, missed weight by four pounds at Friday’s weigh-in. Neal forfeited 30% of the purse, and the event was back on.
Despite the weight difference, the event did not disappoint, and Rakhmonov proved he was up for the challenge. The Kazakh showcased his skills and passed the test with flying colors.
Rakhmonov and Neal went back and forth, testing each other’s chins with each devastating blow, making it a potential candidate for one of the bonuses.
In the midst of the intense action, Rakhmonov landed a perfectly timed lead head kick, resulting in a sizable cut under Neal’s eye towards the end of round one. Despite the injury, Neal wouldn’t give in, and gave Rakhmonov a tough time while trying to avoid his heavy punches.
However, Rakhmonov was determined to maintain his undefeated record and, after a series of exchanges, pulled off a standing rear-naked choke, securing the victory in the last few minutes of the event. The crowd was in awe of the display of skills and power from both.
Geoff Neal left the ring with his head held high, proud of the performance he put forth on such a significant stage. Rakhmonov, on the other hand, set his sights on the next challenge, calling out Colby Covington for his next or a title shot.
APRÈS UNE GUERRE SUR 3 ROUND SHAVKAT RAKHMONOV 🇰🇿
GAGNE PAR SOUMISSION A UNE MINUTE DE LA FIN🥶🥶🥶🥶EFFRAYANT pic.twitter.com/kPACnJuA43
— La Taverne du MMA (@Latavernedumma) March 5, 2023
Dana White was so impressed he entered the octagon afterwards to great them despite it not being a title match. He also confirmed Neal would be receiving a bonus for that performance afterwards despite the weight miss.
Shavkat Rakhmonov is a SAVAGE 🔥🔥
Some highlights from his win tonight vs Geoff Neal #UFC285 #UFC pic.twitter.com/wh6vHlcdK2
— Tygomedov☝🏻 (@TylerDurheim22) March 5, 2023
Since 2014, Benny A. King has been fully immersed in the world of combat sports. Starting with a blog about Greco Roman wrestling, Benny’s passion for combat sports has led him to explore various disciplines.