JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – It appears Shavkat Rakhmonov may get the matchup he was seeking.
Rakhmonov (15-0 MMA, 3-0 UFC) recently called out both Li Jingliang and Neil Magny, and according to his manager, Danny Rubenstein, the UFC has offered him the matchup with Magny.
“We’ve been offered the Neil Magny fight,” Rubenstein told MMA Junkie. “We’ve accepted it. I’m sure Neil will accept that fight. It’s just about getting the details worked out for it and making sure Shavkat’s taken care of. He beats a guy like Neil Magny, you’re looking at top-five guys for the rest of his career at that point.”
Rubenstein expects big implications for the unbeaten Rakhmonov if he gets past a perennial contender like Magny (26-8 MMA, 19-7 UFC), but doesn’t expect too many people to put their hands up to fight him.
“I think if he gets through Neil Magny and does it in the same fashion he’s beaten the other three guys that he’s fought so far, we’re going to have real problems getting him booked,” Rubenstein said.
“The hardcores know who he is and know how good he is. He’s huge for the division, just like Khamzat (Chimaev) is. He’s got great striking. He’s got a fantastic ground game. I’m super excited for him.”
In three octagon bouts, the 27-year-old Kazakhstani fighter has notched finishes of Alex Oliveira, Michel Prazeres and, most recently, a Performance of the Night knockout of Carlston Harris in February.
Magny, a 26-fight octagon veteran, is coming off a split decision win over Max Griffin at UFC on ESPN 33. Magny’s 19 victories in UFC welterweight competition are tied with Georges St-Pierre for most in divisional history.