Shavkat Rakhmonov was tested in a way he’d never before experienced against Geoff Neal, but he overcame in triumphant fashion with a third-round submission.
Rakhmonov upped his unbeaten streak to 17 fights with a rarely-seen standing bulldog choke of Neal, who traded brutal punishment with him over three rounds before falling to the mat at the 4:17 mark of the final frame.
Afterward, Rakhmonov called for a title shot or a showdown with loud-mouth Colby Covington.
Here’s what fighters had to say about Shavkat Rakhmonov vs. Geoff Neal at UFC 285.
Wow what a fight, that was fun!!!— Funky (@Benaskren) March 5, 2023
These guys showed up! @ufc #UFC285— Chris Leben (@ChrisLebenMMA) March 5, 2023
Man fight of the year— Belal Muhammad (@bullyb170) March 5, 2023
And still got the finish. Great performance by both guys #UFC285— Sodiq Yusuff (@Super_Sodiq) March 5, 2023
Holy cow! What a savage. Good fight guys. #UFC285— Niko Price (@Nikohybridprice) March 5, 2023
Every bonus on the card just give it to Neal and Rak#UFC285— Sean Strickland (@SStricklandMMA) March 5, 2023
Damn. Hit him with the bouncer choke #UFC285— Chris Weidman (@chrisweidman) March 5, 2023
shavkat is a monster— Terrance McKinney (@twrecks155) March 5, 2023
Give both of them money and then give Shavkat some extra for that finish! That fight was so good! #UFC285— Tanner Boser (@BulldozerBoser) March 5, 2023
There's a reason I was so stoked for this fight! Standing bulldog choke?! So sick #UFC285— Vince Morales (@vandetta135) March 5, 2023
WOW…What a crazy 3rd round & what a finish….Rakhmonov is a real deal #UFC285— Aleksandar Rakic (@rakic_ufc) March 5, 2023
Wow!— Paul Felder (@felderpaul) March 5, 2023
That was a cereal killer choke... #UFC285— Will Brooks (@ILLxWillBrooks) March 5, 2023
Nicely done @Rakhmonov1994 https://t.co/inkgMfFNqn— Jan Blachowicz (@JanBlachowicz) March 5, 2023
Neal vs Rahkmonov is definitely fight of the night so far. Tough bastards right there. #UFC285— Justin Gaethje (@Justin_Gaethje) March 5, 2023
.@Jon_Anik said it best. Bit of a resemblance from the Burns vs Chimaev in both men. Tremendous fight! #UFC285— Alan Jouban (@AlanJouban) March 5, 2023
Wow what a finish @Rakhmonov1994 is here congrats! #ufc285— GILBERT BURNS DURINHO (@GilbertDurinho) March 5, 2023