Fighter Profile: Shavkat Rakhmonov

Photo Courtesy of Zuffa LLC

If you follow MMA you’ve definitely been following the Meteoric rise of Khamzat Chimaev, if you’re paying attention you’ll realize the fighter most people mention right after Chimaev is Kazakhstani and Uzbekistani fighter Shavkat Rakhmonov. Rakhmonov is an undefeated fighter much like Chimaev, and hopefully these two undefeated fighters will meet in a fight very soon because these two fighters and Sean Brady are the future of the UFC Welterweight division and MMA as a whole.

Rakhmonov was born October 23, 1994 in Shurchi District, Uzbekistan to a father who is a Kazakh, a mother who is a Kazakh-Konyrat. Rakhmonov learned about MMA by watching MMA fights on DVD. After watching MMA he decided to pursue Martial Arts at first with boxing, but would eventually switch to Combat Sambo where he’d become a Master of Sport in and Master of Sport in MMA. Rakhmonov is an excellent wrestler who’s wrestling and submissions are on par with the Dagestanis.

Rakhmonov made his Professional MMA debut in October of 2012 when faced off against Adam Tsurov in Nazran, Russia for the M-1 Challenge promotion. Rakhmononov would win the bout via Submission (triangle choke.) He’d then face off against Marcus Vinicios winning the bout via TKO (punches.) He’d then face Bartosz Chyrek in May of 2015 winning by KO (punches.)

Rakhmonov would win his next five fights before fighting Faridun Odilov for the KZMMAF Welterweight title he’d win said belt by TKO (punches.) He’d defend this title once against Rinat Sayakbaev. He’d then face off against Daniil Prikaza for the vacant M-1 Welterweight Championship He’d win the strap, and he’d defend that belt once before getting the call to fight in the UFC.

Rakhmonov would make his UFC debut in October of 2020 when he faced off against Alex ‘Cowboy’ Oliveira.  Rakhmonov would win the bout in the first round with a Submission by way of the guillotine choke. He’d then face Michel Prazeres in June of 2021 Rakhmonov would win the bout via Submission (rear-naked choke.) In his next outing he’d face Carlston Harris he’d win the bout via KO (spinning hook kick and punches) in February 2022. Rakhmonov would win the Performance of the Night with this highlight reel knockout.

Rakhmonov is set to face Neil Magny in a UFC Fight Night Main Event on June 25th. It’ll be interesting to see how this one shakes out.

What’s Next for Gilbert Burns

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Gilbert Burns and Khamzat Chimaev put on an amazing fight when they faced off at UFC  273 on Saturday night. Even though Burns did not win it was a very close fight, and Burns damaged Chimaev more than any other opponent Chimaev has ever faced in his short UFC career. Burns has a lot of fights that make sense for him. 

One fight I’d like to see Burns take in the Welterweight division is a bout with Sean Brady. Brady is a Black Belt under Daniel Gracie and is undefeated in his MMA career; it’d be interesting to see these two high level Grapplers face off against one another. Burns is elite when it comes to his Jiu Jitsu being an IBJJF World Champion both in the Gi and out of the Gi and an ADWPJJC World Cup Champion. One of Burn’s most noted accomplishments in the Grappling world is a victory over Kron Gracie son of Rickson Gracie. It’d be cool to see this high level Grappling matchup in the UFC Octagon between Burns and Brady.

Belal Muhammad is another interesting fight for Burns. Win or lose in Muhammad’s in his matchup with Vicente Luque I think this is a sure fire great matchup between Muhammad and Burns. Muhammad sports an impressive 20-3-0 record with 1 no contest. He puts on an amazing show when he steps into the UFC Ocatagon. Burns definitely holds the edge with this fight in the Grappling department as Muhammad is only a purple belt in Jiu Jitsu. Muhammad would definitely want to keep this fight on the feet and go crazy with his striking. Whereas burns would definitely want to take it to the ground and get a Submission victory using his Jiu Jitsu.

Burns and Chimaev have been going back and forth on social media which makes fans think that the pair might run it back in the near future. Although I don’t think it will be right away as I think that the Chimaev Covington fight will probably happen first, but I feel as a fan that I want to see Burns and Chimaev face off again. That was a potential fight of the year and the matchup still intrigues me.

We will see what is next for Burns, but I think these fights definitely make sense. 

3 Great MMA Fights Coming in April!

Photo Courtesy of Bellator MMA

We are now in Spring and almost a quarter of the year is almost done. We think this is a prime time to look at the month ahead with some of the Killer fights that the UFC and Bellator has put together. MMA fans are in for a real treat with the fights these promotions have put together. Some are title fights with some of MMA’s biggest names, others are fights with MMA’s rising stars.

Khamzat Chimaev Vs. Gilbert Burns UFC 273

The first matchup we are excited about is a matchup between Khamzat Chimaev and Gilbert Burns. Chamiev has been taking the MMA world by storm. The Undefeated Russian born fighter has both striking and wrestling skills and has been compared to greats like Khabib Nurmogamedov and Jon Jones. Chimaev has been in camp working with fellow UFC fighter Darren Till. The duo have dubbed themselves, the “Smesh’ Brothers.”  Till will be in Chimaev’s corner at UFC 273

Chimaev will really be tested when he faces off against Gilbert Burns who is one of the best Welterweights in the world who’s grappling is through the roof. Burns has an impressive 20-4 record with a win in his last outing when he fought against Stephen ‘Wonderboy’ Thompson. Burn’s only loss in the last four years was to current Welterweight Champion Kamaru Usman. In the Grappling world Burns holds many achievements  including being an IBJJF World Champion both in the Gi and out of the Gi and an ADWPJJC World Cup Champion.  This is a fight I think fans will love to see.

A.J. McKee Vs. Patrício Pitbull 2

In his last outing A.J. Mckee won the Bellator Featherweight World Championship and won the Bellator Featherweight World Grand Prix and got a big check in the process. Mckee will be facing Patrício Pitbull the man he won the belt against in his next bout at Bellator 277. McKee has an impressive record in the Bellator cage at 18-0 and hopes to make this fight his first successful title defense Patrício Pitbull will be a tough first title defense for McKee. Pitbull is one of Bellator’s biggest stars. The Multiple time   Featherweight and Lightweight Title holder packs a powerful punch and holds an impressive 32-5 record.

Rob Font vs Marlon ‘Chito’ Vera

Massachusett’s Rob Font is coming off a loss to Jose Aldo in December of 2021 he hopes to get back into the win column when he faces off against Marlon ‘Chito’ Vera. Font is a Brown Belt in Brazillian Jiu jitsu and has been fighting MMA professionally since 2011. Before his loss to Aldo in December he was on a five fight win streak including wins over Sergio Pettis and Cody Garbrandt. Across the cage from him  will be another Grappling ace in Chito Vera. Vera is coming off back to back wins to Davey Grant and Frankie Edgar. Vera is a Jiu Jitsu Black Belt who’s first MMA fight was in the back of an automotive shop in a rusty cage. He has climbed far from that rusty cage to the top of the UFC Bantamweight division. We can’t wait to see how this one plays out. 

Fighter Profile: Darren Till

Photo Courtesy of Kevin Jairaj 

Although he’s having a rough patch in his career at the current moment Darren Till is still an exciting fighter to watch. The Englishman has been training in Sweden with promotional hotshot Khamzat Chimaev and hopefully the Russian Born wrestler will help Till turn this rough  patch around. Let’s face it though all of Till’s losses have been to killers at the top of their game so if he picks his next opponent carefully we think that he will get back into the win column sooner rather than later.

Till was born on Christmas Eve in 1992 in Liverpool, England. Till would end up getting in tussels, and would eventually find himself in a training room studying the “art of eight limbs,” Muay Thai. Till would soon find himself dropping out of school to focus on the art full time. He’d start fighting Muay Thai professionally and would later switch to training MMA at 17. Till would end up getting stabbed at a party after confronting a group of men. Till was advised to leave England and move to Brazil to train with Team Kaobon coach. Till would end up fighting for Astra Fight Team in Balneário Camboriú where he’d spend three years and have a child in Brazil. Till would later return to England.

Till made his Professional MMA debut in February of 2013 when he faced Luciano Oliveira Ribeiro he’d win the bout via Unanimous Decision. Muriel Giassi would be next for the young man from Liverpool. Till would win the bout by TKO (Punches.) Less than a month later he’d face Junior Dietz winning by TKO (Punches.) Paulo Batista would be next for Till he’d win the fight by KO (Punch.) Pedro Keller de Souza would be next in the Sparta MMA promotion, Till would win the fight by Knockout moving his record to a perfect 5-0. Till would win his next seven fights before making it to the UFC.

Till would make his UFC debut in May of 2015 against Wendell de Oliveira winning the Bout by Knockout. He’d then face Nicholas Dalby in a bout in Dublin Ireland the fight would end in a Majority Draw. Till would then earn a unanimous decision victory against Jessin Ayari. He’d then face Bojan Veličković winning the bout again by Unanimous Decision moving his record to an almost perfect 15-0-1. He’d then face MMA Veteran Donald ‘Cowboy’ Cerrone. Till would win the bout by TKO (Punches.) Till would then face Stephen ‘Wonderboy’ Thompson and Till would get the nod from all the judges he’d then drop two in a row to Tyron Woodlet and Jorge Masvidal. He’d get back in the win column when he faced off against Kelvin Gastelum. Till would then drop two more fights to Robert Whittaker and Derek Brunson.

Till is one half of the ‘Smesh Bros’ we can’t to see Till return to the Cage as soon as possible.

UFC 273 Preview

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UFC 273 is coming up on April ninth. The UFC packed the main card with some amazing fights with some of MMA’s biggest names and rising stars. Fight Fans are going to love this amazing card after some of the more mediocre cards at the beginning of the year. The first bout of note is between women’s Strawweight fighters in a classic Grappler vs Striker matchup between Mackenzie Dern and Tecia Torres. The next fight of note will be between Russian born Wrestler Khamzat Chimaev and Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Black Belt Gilbert Burns. The card will be topped off by two title fights.

Dern vs. Torres is the first fight fans will like on the main card. Dern is a Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Black Belt who sports an impressive 11-2 record in the Strawweight division.  In her last outing she didn’t come away with a win against Marina Rodriguez, but before that was riding a four fight win streak with wins against Randa Markos, Virna Jandiroba, and Nina Nunes. She hopes to get back into the win Column when she faces off against striking expert Torres. Torres is a Black Belt in Karate and Jhoon-Rhee Taekwondo. She is riding a three fight win streak with wins over Brianna Van Buren, Sam Hughes, and Angela Hill.  This is an awesome matchup I think fans will enjoy.

Chamiev has been taking the MMA world by storm. The Undefeated Russian born fighter has both striking and wrestling skills and has been compared to greats like Khabib Nurmogamedov and Jon Jones. He will really be tested when he faces off against Gilbert Burns who is one of the best Welterweights in the world who’s grappling is through the roof. Burns has an impressive 20-4 record with a win in his last outing when he fought against Stephen ‘Wonderboy’ Thompson. Burn’s only loss in the last four years was to current Welterweight Champion Kamaru Usman. This is a fight I think fans will love.

The card will be topped off by two title fights; the first one is a matchup between Russian Bantamweight Petr Yan and American grappling ace Aljamain Sterling. These two met last year and Sterling walked away with the title after Yan landed an illegal knee that lead to a disqualification. The pair don’t like each other and have been trading verbal barbs online.  The final title fight will be between Featherweight Champion Alexander Volkanovski and The Korean Zombie. Volkanovski is coming off a win against Brian Ortega and is riding a 20 fight win streak including two successful title defenses. The Korean Zombie is coming off a win against Dan Ige and was a fill in for Featherweight legend Max Holloway.

UFC 273 is an awesome card with some amazing fights. The PPV will be available for purchase on ESPN+

What’s Next For Colby Covington

Love him or loathe him Colby Covington has proved that he is one of the best Welterweight fighters currently. He came out on top when he faced Jorge Masvidal Saturday at UFC 272 when the pair faced off in a lopsided contest. This leads one to ask what’s next for Colby Covington. He may not be the caliber of fighter that Usman is, but could an unprecedented third fight be called for? Could a matchup with Dustin Poirier be in the cards? Would a matchup with the winner of Gilbert Burns vs. Khamzat Chimiaev be a good fight for the wrestler? We have our thoughts!

Covington has proved that he has an amazing gas tank and that he is one of the biggest personalities in the Sport, almost like he’s America’s answer to Conor McGregor. One fight that would definitely sell would be a match up between Covington and Kamaru Usman. The pairing have fought twice before with Usman winning both times, but the two don’t like each other and it would definitely sell PPV if they got together and fought for the belt sometime down the line.

Poirier and Covington do not like each other; the pair have traded verbal barbs with the former interim Lightweight Champion saying of Covington “I’ll never fight Colby (Covington) in an Octagon where there’s finances on the line. If I fight Colby, we’re both going to jail – I’m going to jail. You will never see me fight Colby Covington in the UFC.” But if the money is right this would be an interesting fight which I think Poirier comes out on top. This fight is really a no win situation for either of them.

Most likely I see Covington fighting the winner of Burns vs Chimiaev. The pair will be facing off against each other at UFC 273 in April and I think that the winner might face Covington sooner rather than later. Chimiaev is an undefeated Russian Wrestler who destroys everything in his path. The Russian who trains out of Sweden has recently become one of MMA’s biggest rising stars. He has recently become training partners with Englishman Darren Till. Covington has gone out of his way to trash talk Chimiaev referring to him as ‘c**shot.’ 

It’d be an interesting fight for sure as would a matchup with submission specialist Burns who has many achievements in the Grappling world and is currently ranked second in the welterweight division, Since Burns added Striking precision to his arsenal he has become lethal and could out strike and out grapple Covington.

Fighter Profile: Khamzat Chimaev

Jon Anik: Khamzat Chimaev is biggest 'burning question' heading into UFC's  2022 campaign - MMA Fighting
Photo by Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC

Over the last two years Khamzat Chimaev has created quite the name for himself. The Russian born freestyle wrestler has smashed all of his competition while in the MMA cage. Chiamaev has an interesting problem, since he has smashed all of his competition no one will take on Chiamaev. He is that good. He’s been compared to Khabib Nurmogamedov and if he can string together a string a few more wins in the UFC Octagon together he may find himself in the cage with current Welterweight Champion Kamaru Usman.

Chimaev was born on May 1, 1994 in Beno-Yurt, Chechnya, Russia. Chimaev started wrestling at the age of five and still challenges people to wrestling matches till this day. Chimaev won a bronze medal at the Russian National Championships at the junior level.  Chimaev left Russia at the age of 18 and immigrated to Sweden where his family was.  Chimaev was often considered one of the best wrestlers in the country and he had an undefeated record in wrestling matches with a perfect 12-0 record. He also competed in Judo and Sambo where he holds a 3-0 record.

At age 23 Chimaev decided to pursue MMA and made his amauture debut in September of 2017.He’d make his professional debut eight months later after compiling an impressive perfect 3-0  amature record. He made his pro debut on May 26, 2018. His opponent was Gard Olve Sagen. Chimaev would win via TKO (punches) in round two. In his next fight he’d face Ole Magnor he’d secure the victory via Technical Submission (rear-naked choke.) He’d then face Marko Kisič and would win via TKO (punches.) Chimaev would continue his dominant ways and win his next three.

 His impressive 6-0 record caught the eye of the UFC who signed him to a deal. Chimaev made his UFC debut on July 16th, 2020 against John Phillips and would secure the victory via Submission (D’Arce choke.) He’d go on to face Rhys McKee on ten days rest and would beat him via TKO (punches.) In September of 2020 Chimaev would go on to face Gerald Meerschaert, he’d win by Knockout. Thirteen months later he’d face Li Jingliang at UFC 267 in October of 2021 where he’d win via Technical Submission (rear-naked choke.) This victory would move Chimaev to a perfect 10-0.

It is not known who Chimaev will face next. He is currently ranked 11th in the welterweight division. He is at an interesting point in his career where he is getting dodged and noone wants to face him, we’ll see who is next for him, because he is one of the promotion’s biggest upcoming stars.