UFC 296 has had a helluva week in terms of announcements. The December 16th card was a mystery entering the week, but now it’s coming together with absolute bangers. Dana White announced earlier this week that the main event will be a welterweight title fight between Leon Edwards and Colby Covington.
White would then announce the co-main event would be a flyweight title fight between Alexandre Pantoja and Brandon Royval. Today, we learned about another fight that is not finalized yet, but it’s been publicly agreed to which means it’s just missing the signatures.
Stephen “Wonderboy” Thompson (17-6-1) took to X today and posted that the UFC had offered him a fight against the undefeated sensation Shavkat Rakhmonov (17-0) for the December 16th card. Wonderboy said he accepted the fight and expressed excitement for the matchup. Rakhmonov quickly responded agreeing to the fight and simply said, “Let’s go”.
Wonderboy is coming off a big win over Kevin Holland last December where he really showed The Trailblazers how there is levels to striking. He was supposed to face Michel Pereira back at UFC 291 in July, but Pereira missed weight and Wonderboy opted not to take the fight given the weight miss.
There’s been questions surrounding his next fight and early on, it seemed like Ian Garry would get the fight. Garry called for the fight against Wonderboy after his win at UFC 292 and Thompson said he’d take the fight. However, Thompson has also maintained that he wants a fight that gets him closer to the title. Rakhmonov gets him closer at this time.
Rakhmonov is 17-0 with 17 finishes. If you want the definition of a phenom, look no further than Shavkat Rakhmonov. He got tested in his last bout against Geoff Neal, but still pulled out a standing rear naked choke in the final minute of the fight to keep his finishing streak alive. That win moved him to a perfect 5-0 inside the octagon. If he can finish Wonderboy, he might be next in line or damn near close to it for a shot at the title.