“I was even close to pulling out” - Shavkat Rakhmonov details ‘very serious’ ankle injury to Laura Sanko post 'Wonderboy' triumph at UFC 296

Shavkat Rakhmonov
Shavkat Rakhmonov with Laura Sanko (Image via Instagram @Laura_Sanko)

Shavkat Rakhmonov confirmed he suffered a significant ankle injury while training for his latest fight at UFC 296.

On Saturday night, December 16, ‘Nomad’ secured a second-round submission against Stephen ‘Wonderboy’ Thompson, extending his UFC record to 6-0. Some spectators wondered why Rakhmonov wasn’t showcasing his entire skill set. The reason was revealed shortly after he left the Octagon.

Following his impressive win, Rakhmonov joined Laura Sanko for a quick interview. Sanko asked ‘Nomad’ about a rumored ankle injury she learned from his coach, Henri Hooft. The undefeated UFC welterweight responded by saying:

“Yeah, I had a very serious injury, and I was even close to pulling out from the fight, but I decided to risk it all. That’s why I didn’t kick with my leg, just used my knees, but thank g*d I got the victory.”

Laura Sanko followed up by asking Shavkat Rakhmonov about how much the injury affected his fighting abilities. ‘Nomad’ had this to say:

“It’s a very important fight for me, even though I had an injury and couldn’t be 100%. I used 70% to 80% in training and in the fight. I got the victory and that’s what it means for me.”

Shavkat Rakhmonov made his UFC debut in October 2020 with a professional MMA record of 12-0, all wins inside the distance.

Since then, Rakhmonov has maintained his finish streak with six more wins in the Octagon against Alex ‘Cowboy’ Oliveira, Michel Prazeres, Charleston Harris, Neil Magny, Geoff Neal and Stephen ‘Wonderboy’ Thompson.

What is next for Shavkat Rakhmonov?

At UFC 296, Leon Edwards retained his UFC welterweight title by securing a unanimous decision win against Colby Covington. Although nothing has been confirmed, Belal Muhammad, who weighed in as the backup for Edwards vs. Covington, is expected to be the next 170-pound title challenger.

Therefore, Shavkat Rakhmonov will likely be matched up in a number-one contender bout for his next Octagon appearance. With that said, anything can happen in MMA, so Rakhmonov could be fighting for UFC gold sooner rather than later.

Watch Rakhmonov's submission finish against Stephen 'Wonderboy' Thompson below:

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Edited by Nicolaas Ackermann
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