With the UFC welterweight title on the line in the UFC 296 main event, the winner will be quickly seeking a tape of this one as it could be their next title defense.
We’ve got all the news ahead of our Rakhmonov vs Thompson prediction, as both men look to earn their spot as the next challenger for the 170 lbs title.
Rakhmonov is seen as the coming man to win it all and extend his undefeated run, but no one should ever rule out Wonderboy.
It all makes for an exciting matchup, and we’ll explain it all in our Shavkat Rakhmonov vs. Stephen Thompson prediction.
Rakhmonov vs Thompson Prediction
With the two fighters in this one currently ranked fifth and sixth in the welterweight division, the winner can certainly imagine they’ll be next for the winner of Edwards vs Colvington.
Despite the fact that the two men are so close in the rankings, the Moneyline odds difference in this one is one of the biggest around.
We’ll explain exactly why the favorite is so far ahead of the underdog in our Shavakat Rakhmonov vs Stephen Thompson prediction.
Shavakat Rakhmonov Preview
For many people, it’s a case of when and not if the Uzbekistan fighter ends up becoming a UFC champion.
There’s a reason why our Rakhmonov vs Thompson prediction will have the undefeated rising star as the heavy favorite in the betting.
The Nomad has won all of his 17 MMA fights and the first five since joining the UFC in October 2020, and he’s shown few signs of slowing down.
Every single one of his fights has been finished inside the distance, he doesn’t tend to wait for the judges to decide on a winner.
Of those wins, eight have been by knockout and nine by submission, including his previous two wins and four of his last five.
Such is the expectation that he’ll end up with his arm raised inside the octagon this weekend that he’s a ridiculous -625 favorite.
Rakhmonov has a good striking record but it’s where he is closest with Thompson on the statistics, and is unlikely to be his route to victory this weekend.
It’s really in his 1.49 takedown average and 1.5 submission average where the undefeated fighter has the biggest advantage.
However he has shown weakness, especially in his most recent victory over Geoff Neal in March, and Thompson will look to exploit it.
Stephen Thompson Preview
There are few more iconic fighters in UFC than Stephen ‘Wonderboy’ Thompson and at age 40 he’s still in the top six rankings in the welterweight division.
Despite being a massive underdog, at around +455, it would be foolish to completely rule him out of our Shavkat Rakhmonov vs. Stephen Thompson prediction.
Much like his more fancied opponent, Wonderboy will be hoping to earn a shot at the main event winner if he can be successful here.
Unlike his opponent, Thompson has previously fought for the welterweight title twice, both times against Tyron Woodley.
He was unlucky to be on the end of a draw and a majority decision in those two attempts to become the champion.
Since then he’s had an up and down time and has become somewhat of a gatekeeper to the division, but he has kept the gate shut for Vicente Luque, Geoff Neal and Kevin Holland.
He has a good takedown defense, which will be necessary at the weekend, with a 64% success rate of stopping his opponents taking him down in the Octagon.
His striking will obviously be the route to success for the former kickboxer, and that’s where Rakhmonov showed some weakness.
Neal rocked the Uzbek a few times in the fight and even floored him the third, unfortunately that led to his downfall as the ‘Nomad’ earned a final round submission from the ground.
Shavkat Rakhmonov vs. Stephen Thompson Prediction: Submit To The Coming King
- Shavkat Rakhmonov to win by submission +120
- Shavkat Rakhmonov to win in Round 2 +850
- Winning Round – Round 2 +300
With such unbelievable value to back the number sixth fighter in the division, we won’t take offense if you go for the underdog in our Rakhmonov vs Thompson prediction.
However, there is a reason why Rakhmonov has leapt into fifth in the rankings after just five fights and is heavy favorite here.
The odds of his specific route to victory are all lower than Thompson’s chances of victory are rated, telling you all you need to know.
If you do choose to go against what we’ve outlined then Wonderboy by KO/TKO at +1100 or by decision at +800 might be your best route.
We expect that Rakhmonov will end up being successful here and could well be knocking on the door of Edwards or Covington next, whoever it is would understandably be a bit scared to answer.