UFC 296 takes place on December 16 inside the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. In the main event of the card, Colby Covington is returning to the Octagon to fight Leon Edwards for the first time after beating Jorge Masvidal at UFC 272 in March 2022. While the excitement for the fight is reaching its pique, a certain portion of the fans are already mapping out who the next contender will be. And, if Shavkat Rakhmonov is to be believed, it should not be him.
Ever since his debut in the UFC, Shavkat Rakhmonov has been one of the most dominant 170 lbs fighters inside the cage. The undefeated fighter (17-0) currently holds a UFC record of 5-0 and is set to face off against Stephen “Wonderboy” Thompson at UFC 296. Ahead of the event, Rakhmonov recently had an interview with Morning Kombat’s Luke Thomas. There, the 29-year-old fighter also expressed his thoughts on fighting for the title next.
Even Shavkat says Belal deserves the next titleshot. Shavkat is a real one 💯 pic.twitter.com/tS0uXxGz7s— AWUREDO (@AOUREDOO) December 8, 2023
Speaking on the matter, Rakhmonov added, “I don’t know, it depends on what UFC says. But I think that Belal Muhammad also deserves the title shot.” However, if the next title shot arrives at his doorstep, Rakhmonov promised to be ready to seize the opportunity. The Kazakh fighter is the fifth-ranked competitor in the division and if he manages to beat Wonderboy, there may be a chance of him fighting for the title next.
Belal Muhammad is unbeaten in his last 10 fights
Not just Shavkat Rakhmonov, even UFC featherweight fighter Movsar Evloev is backing Belal Muhammad to receive the next title shot after UFC 296. And, one look at the statistics shows exactly why elite fighters are rooting for the currently second-ranked welterweight fighter to compete for the UFC gold next. In his last 10 fights, Muhammad has not lost a single fight inside the Octagon.
In that above-mentioned period, the 35-year-old defeated Gilbert Burns, Sean Brady, Stephen Thompson, and Demian Maia. He has 9 wins in that 10-fight stretch and the only no-contest came against the current champion, Leon Edwards. Belal’s last loss was against Geoff Neal on January 19, 2019. It means he has not lost a fight in over 4 years. Hence, Belal receiving the title shot after UFC 296 would be justified.
Not only that, he also has unfinished business with Leon Edwards as well. Their last fight ended after an accidental eye poke left Muhammad unable to compete. So it would be fitting to see the two rematch for the welterweight title. In case Colby wins on December 16, that also sets up a fresh and exciting fight where two wrestlers go head-to-head. If history has taught the MMA fans anything, then they should expect an exciting bout between the two.
So who do you think will receive the next title shot? Let us know in the comments below.