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LAS VEGAS – Shavkat Rakhmonov proved he’s a real threat to the top of the welterweight division with his submission win over Neil Magny.
The undefeated Rakhmonov (16-0 MMA, 4-0 UFC) received a tough test in the veteran Magny (26-9 MMA, 19-8 UFC) in the co-main event of UFC on ESPN 38, but proved he belongs among the top of the division with his phenomenal performance.
The fight got off to a quick start as Rakhmonov caught a kick from Magny early and used it to push him to the canvas. From there, Rakhmonov took top position on the mat and began to work from half guard. Magny did well to hold on to prevent damage, but things heated up when Rakhmonov postured up about three minutes into the round and began raining down punches.
Magny did well to return fire with upkicks, but he couldn’t keep Rakhmonov away as he slid right back into top position a moment later and continued to land punches. Magny then began attacking a heel, but Rakhmonov was able to defend the submission attempts until the end of the round.
Magny found himself on the defensive early in the second after a few striking exchanges. Rakhmonov closed the distance, initiated a clinch, and got the fight to the ground just over a minute into the round. Rakhmonov controlled the action from the top while Magny did his best to try to get up, but found himself in position to have his neck caught in a deep guillotine with just seconds remaining.
The choke was too deep, and Magny was forced to tap with just two seconds remaining in the round.
— UFC (@ufc) June 26, 2022
The undefeated record of Rakhmonov remains intact after facing arguably his toughest opponent to date. The Uzbekistan native finished the first three fights of his UFC career, taking out Alex Oliveira, Michel Prazeres, and Carlston Harris. Now, he has a finish over Magny on his resume, who has been a mainstay of the top 15 for many years.
A win of this caliber proves Rakhmonov is ready for the next step up in top-heavy welterweight division, and his call out of Stephen Thompson tells everyone exactly how high he’s aiming.
Magny entered Saturday’s contest at No. 13 among welterweights in the latest USA TODAY SPORTS/MMA Junkie rankings, and Rakhmonov was right on his heels at No. 15.
Magny’s two-fight win streak comes to a halt by the hands of Rakhmonov. Magny entered Saturday’s contest on the heels of a split decision win over Max Griffin in March and a unanimous decision win over Geoff Neal last May. Saturday’s result was the first setback for Magny since a decision loss to Michael Chiesa in January 2021.
Up-to-the-minute results of UFC on ESPN 38 include:
Shavkat Rakhmonov def. Neil Magny via submission (guillotine choke) – Round 2, 4:58
Josh Parisian def. Alan Baudot via TKO (punches) – Round 2, 3:04
Chris Curtis def. Rodolfo Vieira via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
Shayilan Nuerdanbieke def. T.J. Brown via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
Sergey Morozov def. Raulian Paiva via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)