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"16–0 and Winning Every Match, Then Enter Him Into the Goddamn World Championship" In advance of UFC 285: Chael Sonnen on Shavkat Rakhmonov


Shavkat Rakhmonov‘s dominant run in the UFC has earned him recognition as a legitimate top contender despite having spent only a few years in the promotion. His impressive resume, which consists of 16 finishes in all of his 16 wins, has fans comparing him to the likes of Khamzat Chimaev, who too had an explosive rise in the welterweight rankings. With Chimaev expected to earn himself a title shot in the future, UFC legend Chael Sonnen, in an appearance in the MMA hour, claimed that Rakhmonov too deserves the same if he was as good as people claim he is.

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Sonnen, while talking to Ariel Helwani, dismissed the idea of building up a fighter who clearly is deserving a shot at the top contenders. He also brought up the likes of Bo Nickal along with Rakhmonov as an example.

Chael Sonnen asks why the UFC hasn’t given Shavkat Rakhmonov a title fight

VIDEO: Shavkat Rakhmonov vs Geoff Neal | FREE FIGHT | UFC 296
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During his latest appearance on ‘The MMA hour’, the 45-year-old, while talking about Bo Nickal, implied that the promotion shouldn’t waste time trying to give promising fighters like Nickal and Rakhmonov easy fights. Instead, he felt that they should be tested against the best; since they have already proved themselves to be elite athletes.

“They should be demanding. They’re trying to do this with this Rakhmonov. If Rakhmonov is 16-0 and beating everybody, then put him in the goddamn world championship. Give the right guy the world title, but we don’t.” Exclaimed Sonnen.

Although in response, Ariel Helwani argued that promotions have to build up fighters over a period.

Sonnen, despite this, felt that if a fighter has a proven track record, he shouldn’t have any built-up required.

Emphasizing the welterweight’s undefeated record, he said, “If this guy’s that good if he’s 16-0. put him in there”

Shavkat Rakhmonov is set to face Geoff Neil at UFC 285

VIDEO: The Trickiest Fight of Rakhmonov’s Career…
Chael Sonnen

Despite a legend of Sonnen‘s stature asking him to be given a title shot; the Kazakh fighter still has to get a few more wins in order to lay his claim on the 175 lbs. throne. Keeping that in mind, Rakhmonov is set to face number seven-ranked welterweight Geoff Neal in what could be a breakthrough fight for the undefeated star.

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via Getty

And considering that the fight is taking place at UFC 285 headlined by a returning Jon Jones, this fight might just be the perfect opportunity for the 16-0 fighter to make a statement for the MMA world to see. A win here could even propel him into the top five of the division. Eventually bringing him much closer to the coveted UFC gold.

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What do you think of Sonnen’s statement on Rakhmonov? Is the UFC hall of fame right in his analysis? Let us know in the comment section below.

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