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UFC 296 Betting Preview: Shavkat Rakhmonov vs. Stephen Thompson

December 16, 2023


Explore exciting battles at the upcoming UFC 296 event, featuring a compelling welterweight battle between fifth-ranked Shavkat Rakhmonov and sixth-ranked Stephen Thompson. Set for Saturday, December 16, at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada, with the main card kicking off at 10:00 PM ET. Rakhmonov is the strong favorite with a moneyline at -650.

Shavkat Rakhmonov Betting Preview

Rakhmonov has yet to lose a fight in 17 professional career battles. His most recent win was a third round rear-naked choke submission over Geoff Neal at UFC 285 in March of this year.

Out of his 17 wins, he has never gone to a decision. So far, he has eight knockouts and nine submissions. In addition, nine of these wins have resulted in first round finishes.

“Nomad” has a striking accuracy at 59 percent, but lacks behind with a takedown accuracy at 33 percent. His significant strike ratio is compelling, as he delivers 4.45 significant strikes each minute and absorbs just 2.61, which makes this a key stat to watch.

Rakhmonov manages to land 1.49 takedowns and 1.49 submissions each 15 minutes of action. He also has good defenses with a 54 percent success rate against significant strikes and a perfect 100 percent so far against takedowns.

Stephen Thompson Betting Preview

At 40, Thompson has gone 1-2 in his last three fights. His previous battle helped end his two-fight win streak, which was a fourth round TKO over Kevin Holland back at UFC on ESPN 42 in December of last year.

He has put together 17 wins that are composed of eight knockouts, a submission, and eight decisions. Five of these wins have ended within the first round and five of his six defeats have come by decision.

“Wonderboy” delivers strikes with an accuracy at 46 percent and lands takedowns at 42 percent. He has a solid significant strike ratio, landing 4.20 significant strikes per minute while taking on 3.04. This should be a good matchup here.

Thompson is not quite active on the ground, as he lands 0.27 takedowns per 15 minutes of fight time. His defenses are solid with a successful rate of 55 and 64 percent against significant strikes and takedowns, respectively.

Odds, Series Trends and Free Pick

MyBookie shows the latest odds for this matchup, with Shavkat Rakhmonov as the heavy favorite to win here. Bettors should consider adding him to a parlay with other fights from the night or consider a prop bet that would potentially pay out better.


  • Stephen Thompson: +375

  • Shavkat Rakhmonov: -650

Thompson has had too many issues defending against strikes and aggressive grapplers over his last five fights. This might be one of the last few fights we see out of him at 40, but look for Rakhmonov to end this early. 

Pick: Shavkat Rakhmonov Wins Inside The Distance (-195)