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Shavkat Rakhmonov Is In No Rush

Shavkat Rakhmonov is a serious young man. As such, the 27-year-old doesn’t have time for trivial things such as running a Google search on his name.

But if he did, he might get amused by the question in the “People also ask” section where it is asked, How good is Shavkat Rakhmonov?

“I never tried to Google my name, so I'm not sure about that,” he said. “But, of course, if there's some YouTube videos of my fights or about me I usually watch it.”

Yes, he’s as modest as he is serious, which means we’ll have to answer that question.

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He’s really good, to the tune of a perfect 14-0 record that includes 14 finishes and UFC victories over Alex Oliveira and Michel Prazeres. It’s not easy keeping a record like that, especially two fights deep into a UFC career, and while Rakhmonov knows this, he’s also learned to adjust to the pressure of staying perfect.

“It's hard to stay undefeated because it's a huge psychological pressure and expectations are always very high,” he admits. “But I learned to deal with it. The most important thing is to stay focused and cold blooded in your approach. Being undefeated is also a big motivation to train harder to keep that ‘0’.”

Training hard has never been an issue for the welterweight prospect, but as Rakhmonov preps for Saturday’s meeting with Carlston Harris, he’s been leveling up with the Sanford MMA squad in South Florida.  

Shavkat Rakhmonov of Kazakhstan celebrates his victory over Alex Oliveira of Brazil in their welterweight bout during the UFC 254 event on October 24, 2020 on UFC Fight Island, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. (Photo by Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC)

ABU DHABI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES - OCTOBER 24: Shavkat Rakhmonov of Kazakhstan celebrates his victory over Alex Oliveira of Brazil in their welterweight bout during the UFC 254 event on October 24, 2020 on UFC Fight Island, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. (Photo by Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC)


“I really like it here at Sanford MMA, it's a very good and friendly team,” he said. “Of course I will go back home after the fight to my family and team back in Kazakhstan, but depending on when and where my future fights will be, I still plan to come back here.”

Of course, the January weather is pleasing to someone who has to endure single digits at the start of the New Year back in Kokshetau, but other than that, he’s kept it strictly business while getting ready for his third walk to the Octagon. 

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“Mostly it's only training and rest between the sessions for me,” he said. “During the camp I like to stay focused on preparation, but on the weekend I like to go to the sauna with my friends for recovery and also check some local landmarks.”

Shavkat Rakhmonov Taps Out Prazeres | UFC Fight Night: Gane vs Volkov
Shavkat Rakhmonov Taps Out Prazeres | UFC Fight Night: Gane vs Volkov
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Sure, it’s not a glamorous life, but it’s a necessary one for a professional athlete to lead if he wants to reach the pinnacle of his sport. That’s Rakhmonov’s goal, along with representing his country around the globe.

“I take pride in being the first Kazakhstani fighter to sign with the UFC and in being one of the top athletes to represent our country in this sport,” he said. “MMA is growing rapidly in our country, our people love combat sports and UFC is very, very popular there.”

View Rakhmonov's Athlete Profile

In his quiet demeanor and ruthless finishing ability on fight night, Rakhmonov is a dead ringer for another combat sports standout, longtime middleweight boxing champion Gennadiy Golovkin, and if the “Nomad” stays on his current path, he could be Kazakhstan’s next big star.

Shavkat Rakhmonov of Uzbekistan secures a rear choke submission against Michel Prazeres of Brazil in a welterweight fight during the UFC Fight Night event at UFC APEX on June 26, 2021 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC)
Shavkat Rakhmonov of Uzbekistan secures a rear choke submission against Michel Prazeres of Brazil in a welterweight fight during the UFC Fight Night event at UFC APEX on June 26, 2021 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC)

“I can feel the big support not only from my friends and family, but from all the fans back home,” he said. “Everyone is very happy about my current success in UFC.”

Not a bad run for a kid who only wanted to be an athlete or a military man when he was growing up. And now that Rakhmonov is here, he plans on being patient and staying a while.

 “It's already been over a year since my debut and I think everything is going well according to the plan,” he said. “I don't like to rush; time will show everything.”

 

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UFC Fight Night: Hermansson vs Strickland took place on Saturday, January 15, 2022, live from the UFC APEX in Las Vegas. See the Final ResultsOfficial Scorecards and Who Won Bonuses — and relive all of the action on UFC Fight Pass.