Stephen ‘Wonderboy’ Thompson finally has a fight scheduled; he will be making his first appearance in 2023 against arguably one of the toughest welterweights out there: Shavkat Rakhmonov. The welterweight clash is scheduled to take place on 16th December on the UFC 296 card.
It is worth knowing that Shavkat Rakhmonov has successfully finished all his opponents; he has a professional MMA record of 17-0 and has beaten those opponents either via Knockout/Submission.
"I think the deal is, when I fight Shavkat, they're going to add on what they owed me for the last fight."@WonderboyMMA explains how the Shavkat Rahkmonov matchup came about and what a win does for him. #UFC296
Full convo w/ @chrisweidman ? https://t.co/beImfQJIXw pic.twitter.com/E9BqEJXcZr — MMA on SiriusXM (@MMAonSiriusXM) September 25, 2023
Stephen Thomspon was really looking forward to a fight with Kamaru Usman, but the UFC denied that match-up – perhaps someday in the future, the two fighters will meet in the octagon. Interestingly, Thompson believes a win against Shavkat Rakhmonov will allow him to get a title shot.
Stephen Thompson on fighting Shavkat Rakhmonov
Recently, on SiriusXM’s “Won’t Back Down”, Stephen Thompson spoke about fighting Rakhmonov and getting a title shot. “I do believe that they’re going to – I think the deal is, when I fight Shavkat, they’re going to add on what they owed me for the last fight,” Thompson said, as quoted by mmajunkie.usatoday.com.
“Usman called me out, and I wanted that fight, but the UFC kept coming back and saying, ‘No, Usman’s not gonna fight you. He’s gonna fight somebody else.’ So there’s a lot going on. People are looking at this guy, undefeated, hundred percent finish rate.
Nobody wants to fight this guy, so here I am, I’m like, you know, do I fight somebody ranked below me? Do I fight somebody ranked above me, probably one of the toughest guys in the division who nobody wants to fight? I’ll fight Shavkhat.
Thompson further said: Let’s do it. Let’s make it happen. I believe (if) I go out there and I beat this guy – he should be fighting for the title after this fight with Leon (Edwards) and Colby (Covington).
I think Shavkhat’s got it (if he wins at UFC 296). So if I beat this guy, I’m looking at another title shot again”.