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Rakhmonov: 'I'm ready' to fight Edwards-Muhammad winner for UFC title

Sean M. Haffey / Getty Images Sport / Getty

Shavkat Rakhmonov sees no other option but to challenge for the UFC welterweight championship.

The third-ranked contender said Sunday in a post on X that he wants a shot at the winner of the fight between 170-pound champion Leon Edwards and Belal Muhammad, which is scheduled to headline UFC 304 on July 27 in Manchester, England.

Though Rakhmonov was initially open to a No. 1 contender bout, he noted that several top-five opponents have been ruled out. Jack Della Maddalena is recovering from an injury, and Rakhmonov claimed that former champ Kamaru Usman and Colby Covington are unwilling to step into the Octagon against him.

Earlier this year, Rakhmonov and Della Maddalena showed mutual interest in squaring off in a title eliminator. However, Della Maddalena recently delayed his return to action because of complications from surgery after he broke his forearm in a win at UFC 299.

Usman and Covington, on the other hand, are looking to bounce back from losses to Khamzat Chimaev (at middleweight) and Edwards, respectively, but neither has his next fight lined up.

Rakhmonov has made huge waves in the welterweight division since his 2020 UFC debut, winning six in a row over Stephen "Wonderboy" Thompson, Geoff Neal, and Neil Magny, among others. As a pro, Rakhmonov is 18-0 with a 100% finish rate.

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