Bogdan Guskov proud to be first Uzbekistan fighter to enter UFC rankings: ‘This is my history’

LAS VEGAS – UFC light heavyweight Bogdan Guskov will have bragging rights over his fellow fighters from Uzbekistan.

Guskov (16-3 MMA, 2-1 UFC) will likely find a number next to his name when the promotion releases its updated rankings following UFC on ESPN 55. In the co-main event at the UFC Apex, Guskov finished top 15 fighter Ryan Spann with powerful punches in Round 2.

It was an outing worthy of a $50,000 Performance of the Night bonus, but more importantly for Guskov, one that will likely result in his name entering the UFC’s light heavyweight rankings.

“If I go to the top 15, I will be the first fighter from Uzbekistan who go to the top,” Guskov told reporters during a post-fight news conference. “This is history, this is my history. From Uzbekistan, we have two more strong guys and I’m first. I’m very happy in this moment.”

Makhmud Muradov became the first UFC fighter from Uzbekistan, debuting at UFC Fight Night 160 in September 2019. Liliya Shakirova became the first female and second fighter from the country, only making one appearance at UFC 254. Next was Nursulton Ruziboev, who debuted last July at UFC on ESPN 48.

Guskov rounds out the trio of active fighters from Uzbekistan, and admits there is a friendly rivalry between Muradov and Ruziboev to be the first to reach certain milestones. Both beat Guskov in the race for bonuses, but he can lay claim to the first promotinally-ranked fighter from their home country.

“Both guys are very good friends. We are every time talking support for each other. This is like a sport competition for motivation. It’s good, I think it’s good. … I love this.”

For more on the card, visit MMA Junkie’s event hub for UFC on ESPN 55.

Story originally appeared on MMA Junkie