Shavkat Rakhmonov put the welterweight division on notice at UFC 254, submitting the notoriously durable Alex Oliveira in the very first round.
Shavkat Rakhmonov had a big debut opportunity at UFC 254, with Alex Oliveira replacing Elizeu Zaleski dos Santos on short-notice. Rakhmonov came in as an undefeated M-1 champion with finishes in all 12 of his fights. He had actually been on the UFC roster all year, but had two fights canceled before finally getting to step in the Octagon on Fight Island.
Oliveira has been with the promotion since 2015 and has been a consistently good performer with an 11-6 record in the Octagon. He had some struggles fairly recently, losing three-straight fights from 2018 to 2019. Since then, he was back on track with wins over Max Griffin and Peter Sobotta.
Alex Oliveira swung a leg kick around to start the fight, then caught Rakhmonov with a long right hand. Leg kicks were traded as both men were light on their feet to start the fight. Rakhmonov narrowly avoided a two-punch combination, then fired back with a straight punch followed by a strong knee to the body that made Oliveira keel over. Rakhmonov swarmed him, but Oliveira covered up well and forced a clinch. Rakhmonov landed a few more knees to the body, then had to fight off a pair of takedowns from Oliveira. Rakhmonov stayed on his feet and Oliveira kept battling to get the fight to the ground. Oliveira switched to a double-leg and Rakhmonov leapt for a guillotine and locked it up, getting the tap from the Brazilian to win in his debut.
Remember his name 🗣
🇰🇿 Shavkat Rakhmonov locks up the guillotine!
— UFC (@ufc) October 24, 2020
Shavkat Rakhmonov def. Alex Oliveira by Submission (Guillotine) in Round 1 (4:40)