Image: UFC / Zuffa LLC
You may know of Khamzat Chimaev who’s undefeated, but there’s also another fellow UFC welterweight worth taking note of: Shavkat “Nomad” Rakhmonov.
Born on October 23rd, 1994 in Shurchi District, Uzbekistan to Kazakh parents, Shavkat Rakhmonov became a citizen of Kazakhstan in 2017.
The 27 year-old who holds Masters of Sports degrees in Sambo and MMA, was a KZMMAF and M-1 welterweight champion. He boasts an undefeated 16-0 record with a 100% finishing rate, and is currently ranked-no.10 in the UFC welterweight rankings.
Prior to his professional MMA debut on October 17th 2014, Rakhmonov won the WMMAA and Asian Championships titles as an amateur.
Having originally trained under Kazakhstan Top Team, Rakhmonov has most recently switched to Sanford MMA, now renamed Kill Cliff FC. With these credible connections, Rakhmonov continued his success in the UFC, winning his debut against seasoned veteran Alex “Cowboy” Oliveira via submission.
After two more finishes, with the most recent being a spinning hook kick KO against Carlston Harris, which earned Rakhmonov his first Performance of the Night Bonus, he swiftly made it into the UFC welterweight rankings at no.15 and immediately made a statement against gritty contender Neil Magny to leap into the top 10.
So with all that said, let’s get into the clean-sweeping, “NOMAD” Shavkat Rakhmonov’s Top 5 MMA Finishes! (in descending order)
5. Vs. Faridun Odilov- KZMMAF: Battle of Nomads 10 (May 12, 2018)
After going 8-0, Rakhmonov got his first pro-title shot against Faridun Odilov, who was 8-1-2 at the time.
The first round was mostly a standup battle with Rakhmonov knocking Odilov down twice, once at 1:36 and again at 3:32.
Despite Odilov securing the back, he failed to take Rakhmonov down, and instead, Rakhmonov took Odilov down at the buzzer.
The second round started with Odilov taking Rakhmonov down, landing in side control at 0:21, only for Rakhmonov to reverse the position with a kimura attempt at 1:10.
The biggest moment in this round came when Odilov knocked Rakhmonov down at 4:05 and was nearly close to finishing the fight, but Rakhmonov miraculously survived long enough to see in the third round.
In the third round, after keeping the action on the feet, Rakhmonov secured a takedown at 2:58 and finished the fight with ground and pound at 3:05 into round 3.
This victory earned Rakhmonov his first pro title in the form of the KZMMAF Welterweight title.
4. Vs. Michel Prazeres – UFC FN 190 (June 26, 2021)
After defeating Alex Oliveira in his UFC debut, the 13-0 Rakhmonov squared off against Michel Prazeres who was 26-3.
Despite his short, stocky stature, Prazeres was also a reputable veteran in his own right, having fought the likes of Kevin Lee and Gilbert Burns, with Prazeres defeating the latter.
At the start of round 1, and as the much taller fighter, Shavkat controlled the distance and didn’t allow Prazeres to advance.
At 1:25, Prazeres managed to come within grappling range and pushed Shavkat to the fence at 1:30. Nonetheless, Shavkat secured the takedown at 1:59.
Having landed, and staying in closed guard for a bit, Shavkat escaped the guard, got onto his feet, and began landing heavy ground and pound at 3:35.
Prazeres finally managed to get off his back at 3:42, but Shavkat sprawled with the guillotine right after. Prazeres scrambled back onto his feet, only for Shavkat to press him against the cage. Prazeres escaped at 4:08, but was pushed back against the fence again.
In round 2, Shavkat continued picking Prazeres apart on the feet. This included a 3-punch combination (at 0:42) and a spinning hook kick (at 0:58).
Prazeres then attempted a takedown that was defended by Shavkat. Prazeres then got pushed against the cage and attempted another takedown, but was countered with a knee to the face at 1:02.
Prazeres grabbed hold of a single leg nonetheless, but Shavkat defended with the wizard and brought Prazeres to the ground.
Shavkat then proceeded with ground and pound once again at 1:13. Prazeres had no answer, and eventually submitted to a rear-naked choke at 2:09.
3. Vs. Alex Oliveira – UFC 254 (Oct. 24, 2020)
Having made his long awaited UFC debut, a 12-0 Shavkat Rakhmonov had his first test in the UFC in the form of seasoned veteran, Alex “Cowboy” Oliveira, who at the time, was 21-9-1.
In round 1, Oliveira landed the first strike, which was a darting right punch, at 0:14. Shavkat landed a flurry of punches at 1:40. As Oliveira was backing down, Shavkat landed a big knee at 1:43 and continued with another flurry of punches.
Oliveira was pushed to the cage, but clinched Shavkat up and reversed him at 2:32.
However, as Oliveira was pressing Shavkat against the cage and landing knees, Shavkat caught Oliveira in a guillotine choke and submitted him at 4:40.
2. Vs. Carlston Harris – UFC FN 200 (Feb. 5, 2022)
Shavkat Rakhmonov, now 14-0, continued his dominating ways against Guyana and Brazil’s own Carlston Harris, who was 17-4 at the time.
Round 1 began with Shavkat immediately taking center stage. Despite Harris swinging wildly from time to time, Shavkat continued to control the pace and landed a spinning back kick to the body at 1:52.
He immediately followed with some punches that rocked Harris and forced him to the end of the cage at 1:56. Harris nonetheless reversed Shavkat at 1:58, only for Shavkat to reverse Harris at 2:03.
Although Harris defended well, Shavkat successfully took Harris down with a judo throw at 3:33. Harris nevertheless scrambled back onto his feet at 3:35.
With the two men standing, Shavkat landed a spinning hook kick that knocked Harris down at 4:00, whereupon he unleashed ground and pound on Harris until the referee stepped in at 4:10.
This earned Shavkat his first Performance of the Night bonus as well the no.15 spot in the UFC welterweight rankings
1. Vs. Neil Magny – UFC on ESPN 38 (June 25, 2022)
Having won 3 in a row in the UFC, the 15-0 Shavkat Rakhmonov finally made it into the UFC welterweight rankings at no.15.
His next opponent was the no.10-ranked Neil Magny, who was 26-8 at the time. Despite Magny being a tough challenger for anyone, Shavkat made a statement against the seasoned contender.
In round 1, after intercepting a body round kick from Magny at 0:16 and taking him to the ground with a right punch, Shavkat kept Magny on his back for the remainder of the round.
Although Magny threw some upkicks at certain parts of the round, it was mostly Shavkat who did all the work, staying on top and raining down ground and pound.
Magny got hold of Shavkat’s right leg and attempted a heel hook submission with 22 seconds left on the clock, but Shavkat defended well enough to force Magny to let go and stand up on both feet.
It was such a dominant performance from Shavkat that it could be considered a 10-8 round, scorewise.
Round 2 was pretty much the same. At 0:17, Magny attempted a rear teep, only to have his leg caught by Shavkat and pushed towards the end of the cage. At 1:08, Shavkat took Magny to the ground once again and kept him there.
The Kazakh prospect continued to demonstrate superb groundwork and took Magny’s back at 2:21. Magny immediately rolled out of it, only for Shavkat to get side control at 2:25.
Shavkat stayed on top and wrapped his left arm around Magny’s neck for a guillotine with 60 seconds left in the round. Magny escaped, but Shavkat then attempted the guillotine again with 12 seconds left.
With 10 seconds remaining, Magny immediately went on top of Shavkat, but Shavkat’s guard meant his head was still trapped in the guillotine.
With 3 seconds left, Magny succumbed to the choke and tapped, and Shavkat took home another Performance of the Night bonus as well as Magny’s no.10 spot in the rankings, just like that.