What’s next for Shavkat Rakhmonov after another stoppage at UFC Vegas 57?

Daniel Cunningham
Feb 3, 2018; Belem, Brazil; View of the ring before UFC Fight Night at Mangueirinho Arena. Mandatory Credit: Jason Silva-USA TODAY Sports

This past Saturday night in the co-main event of UFC Vegas 57, one of the biggest prospects in the promotion got his biggest test to date. Undefeated sensation Shavkat Rakhmonov (16-0) took on 10th ranked welterweight Neil Magny (26-9).

Both men had a lot on the line on Saturday night. For Magny, he was looking to tie GSP for the most wins in UFC welterweight history. For Rakhmonov, he was looking to show the world that he was ready to take that next leap in competition.

One of those things happened on Saturday night. In the opening minutes, Magny was looking to use rangey strikes and keep his distance. However, he made a grave error when he threw a sloppy front kick that resulted in him ending up on his back.

Magny spent the majority of the round there. Rakhmonov controlled him and threw some big shots. In the second round, Rakhmonov once again got the fight to the ground and pretty much dominated. Late in the round, the UFC prospect started attacking a guillotine.

There was less than ten seconds left so I thought we’d see a third round. However, Rakhmonov really tightened the pressure and Magny was forced to tap. Another impressive victory for Rakhmonov who remained perfect at UFC Vegas 57?

What’s next after UFC Vegas 57?

I’m going to go ahead and say it for the casuals, Shavkat Rakhmonov should be just as hyped of a prospect as Khamzat Chimaev. Both of these guys are superstar talents and I cannot wait for the inevitable day that they meet inside the octagon.

That being said, one has a little more shine to him which is why he ran up the mountain a lot quicker. Chimaev is likely getting a UFC title eliminator in his next bout while Rakhmonov is going to need a few more wins before he’s in the conversation.

He’s been brought along gradually opposed to the meteoric rise of Chimaev. After this latest win, he called for a fight with Stephen “Wonderboy” Thompson. If you look at the rankings, it’s a fight that makes sense.

Magny was ranked tenth so that is a spot that will likely go to Rakhmonov. Wonderboy is ranked seventh at the moment so that would be a logical next fight. However, there’s one fight with a guy that Rakhmonov will leap frog in the rankings that would be a lot of fun.

How about a fight with Michel Pereira? Pereira is coming off a win against Santiago Ponzinibbio and he’s won five in a row. I think this would be a tremendously fun matchup for the UFC to make and I could see it happening.

There are plenty of options but don’t expect the UFC to rush Rakhmonov up towards the top just yet.