Top 10 ranked welterewights Shavkat Rakhmonov and Geoff Neal have been targeted to battle at the UFC Fight Night 217 event in Las Vegas on January 14th.
The 27-year-old Rakhmonov is currently undefeated in his 16-fight career to date and has made a strong impression since joining the UFC in 2020, having earned four victories in a row so far.
It’s a run that began with a first round submission finish against Alex Oliveira in his UFC debut, followed by another submission stoppage against Michel Prazeres in June of lat year.
Rakhmonov started of his 2022 campaign with a first round spinning hook KO finish against Carlston Harris and most recently stopped Neil Magny by submission, leaving him ranked No.10 in the division.
Neal has also been in fine form in recent times, having secured a split decision win over Santiago Ponzinibbio last year and then putting in arguably his best performance to date against Vicente Luque in August, culminating in a third round KO victory.
That’s left Neal with a 7-2 record in the UFC so far, and he currently holds the No.6 spot on the welterweight ladder.
Rakhmonov vs. Neal joins the UFC’s first event of 2023, which is expected to be headlined by middleweight action as Kelvin Gastelum goes up against Nassourdine Imavov.