ASTANA — Emerging Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) sensation Shavkat Rakhmonov notched his 18th victory at the 296th Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) tournament against American fighter Stephen Thompson in a high-stakes battle that unfolded over three intense rounds in Las Vegas on Dec. 17, reported by Sports.kz.
Rakhmonov won via a rear-naked choke submission with just four seconds remaining in the second round, making him the first person ever to finish Thompson by submission in his MMA career.
Coinciding with Kazakhstan’s Independence Day celebrated on Dec. 16, Rakhmonov dedicated his victory to his countrymen, extending special holiday wishes after overcoming a formidable opponent in Thompson.
In recognition of Rakhmonov’s outstanding achievement at UFC 296, the Minister of Tourism and Sports Yermek Marzhikpayev extended heartfelt congratulations to the celebrated athlete. Marzhikpayev expressed admiration for Rakhmonov’s impressive performance, emphasizing the significance of the victory over an opponent with Stephen Thompson’s remarkable record of 24 appearances and 17 victories in the Octagon throughout his career.
“Our 29-year-old fighter has been a force in mixed martial arts since 2014, gracing the Octagon 17 times and emerging victorious in all confrontations with unwavering dominance. This marks the 18th victory for our fellow countryman,” Marzhikpayev wrote in his Telegram channel, highlighting the widespread appreciation of Rakhmonov’s journey among Kazakh fans.