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Shavkat Rakhmonov kept an incredible streak going at UFC 296 when he submitted Stephen Thompson with a second-round rear-naked choke. With the win, Rakhmonov not only improved to 18-0, but continued a run in which no opponent in his professional career has managed to make it to the judges' scorecards.

Rakhmonov wanted little to do with Thompson on the feet, where Thompson's karate background has befuddled many opponents. From the opening bell, Rakhmonov looked to push forward and force Thompson to operate in the clinch against the cage.

Thompson did well to remain standing throughout the opening round, handfighting to keep Rakhmonov from getting in deep on takedown attempts. But that success came to a quick end in the second round when Rakhmonov was able to finally grab Thompson's leg and force the fight to the ground.

Thompson fought off Rakhmonov's initial attempt at a rear-naked choke, turning his body into the choke to escape the submission. Rakhmonov continued to grind from top position before again taking the back and locking in the choke to force the submission at the 4:56 mark of Round 2.

"Stephen Thompson is a very tough opponent and I'm very happy to finish him," Rakhmonov said after the fight. "I believe I'm worthy of a title shot."

With the win, Rakhmonov will be keeping an eye on the UFC 296 main event when Leon Edwards defends the welterweight championship against two-time former title challenger Colby Covington.

"I believe the winner of the title fight, I'm ready to fight him," Rakhmonov said.

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