"This will be a banger" - Fans over the moon as Stephen Thompson makes fight against Shavkat Rakhmonov official

Stephen Thompson vs. Shavkat Rakhmonov in works for UFC 296
Stephen Thompson (left) vs. Shavkat Rakhmonov (right) targeted for UFC 296 [Images Courtesy: @wonderboymma and @shavkatrakhmonov94 on Instagram]

It appears that Stephen Thompson has secured an opponent to conclude the year. UFC 296 is expected to showcase a welterweight showdown between 'Wonderboy' and Shavkat Rakhmonov.

Thompson recently took to X (formerly Twitter) to reveal that he has agreed to face the undefeated Rakhmonov at the last UFC PPV event of 2023, scheduled to take place at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas on December 16:

"UFC offered and I’ve accepted, @Rakhmonov1994 let’s close out the year strong. Dec 16 can’t wait."

Check out Thompson's post below:

'Nomad' replied and appeared to have accepted the fight:

"Let’s go! 👊🏼"

Fans are thrilled by Stephen Thompson's fight announcement, sparking a wide array of reactions.

One fan wrote:

"I will be praying for you and your great victory"

Another wrote:

"Wonderboy vs Shavkat is going to be a fun one 🔥"

Check out some more reactions below:

"This will be a banger ‼️"
"No way! Wonderboy is the man!!"
"Damn man. Was hoping for Usman but this fight is a good one."
"Yoooooooo awesome!!!"
"walk out with Jack Black please"
"Awesome, what a great matchup!"
Credits: @WonderboyMMA on X
Credits: @WonderboyMMA on X

Why Stephen Thompson vs. Michel Pereira was canceled at UFC 291?

Stephen Thompson's scheduled bout against Michel Pereira at UFC 291 faced an eleventh-hour removal from the main card. This happened when Pereira exceeded the weight limit by three pounds, registering at 174 pounds during the weigh-ins.

Subsequently, the UFC officially declared the fight canceled. 'Wonderboy' then explained, through a statement on social media, that he and his team opted not to proceed with the fight.

In his explanation, Thompson underscored the significance of meeting the weight requirement and reiterated his main objective of capturing the welterweight gold.

Part of his statement read:

"I made weight this morning as I have done every fight during my 11 + year UFC career. My opponent did not. This isn't the first time I've had an opponent miss weight and given how that played outpreviously, myself and my team felt that it's ultimately not smart for us to move forward with this fight. At my age and given what I've accomplished in this sport, I'm not here to be a gatekeeper, I'm here to fight for and win a UFC Welterweight Title."

Check out his statement below:

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Edited by Gerard Crispin