A welterweight matchup between capoeira based striker, Elizeu Zaleski dos Santos and promotional newcomer, Shavkat ‘Nomad’ Rakhmonov has been booked for a UFC 254 event on October 24th. – from Yas Island in Abu Dhabi, UAE.
Knockout artist, dos Santos will make his second appearance on ‘Fight Island’ opposite, Rakhmonov – following a close split decision defeat to Muslim Salikhov at UFC 251 in July.
Former M-1 Global welterweight champion, Rakhmonov is currently undefeated as professional, boasting a 12-0 record. The Kazakhstan native last featured opposite Tiago Varejão, scoring a first-round knockout in the June 2019 pairing. News of the matchup was initially penned by Combate reporter, Marcelo Barone.
Briefly returning to winning ways, dos Santos scored a unanimous judging victory over Alexey Kunchenko, after his decision loss to Li Jingliang at UFC Fight Night Shenzhen in August last year.
The blemish to Jingliang marked dos Santos’ first defeat in seven outings, following an eye-catching winning streak under the UFC’s banner. In his 170-pound run, the 33-year-old Parana native scored wins over the likes of Curtis Millender, Sean Strickland, Max Griffin, Lyman Good, Omari Akhmedov, and Keita Nakamura.
From his above mentioned twelve victories, Rakhmonov is yet to see a judge’s scorecard, finishing seven of his matches via strikes, and a further five more by way of submission. The 25-year-old Combat Sambo based force has featured professionally since 2014 – picking up notable wins over Adil Boranbayev, Faridun Odilov, Rinat Sayakbaev, and Daniil Prikaza.
Rakhmonov was scheduled to make his Octagon debut opposite both Bartosz Fabiński, and Ramazan Emeev – with both falling to the wayside due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, and a withdrawal from Rakhmonov, respectively.
UFC 254 is set to be headlined by a lightweight title unification matchup between Khabib ‘The Eagle’ Nurmagomedov, and interim titleholder, Justin ‘The Highlight’ Gaethje.