UFC 285 is set for this weekend from T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada on Saturday, March 4 at 10 p.m. ET. There is a five-bout main card highlighted by a heavyweight title fight between Jon Jones and Ciyrl Gane. Also notable on the main card is a top-ten welterweight fight between Geoff Neal, ranked seventh in the division, and Shavkat Rakhmonov, ranked ninth.
This fight is being rescheduled from the original date of January 14 when Neal pulled out because of an undisclosed injury. Neal (15-4) is back in the octagon after earning a “Performance of the Night” bonus for a knockout win over Vicente Luque at UFC Vegas 59 in August.
Rakhmonov (16-0) is a rising star in the welterweight division and a former M-1 Welterweight Champion. He is 4-0 in the UFC with four finishes. His stoppage wins over Carlston Harris at UFC Fight Night 200 on February 5, 2022, and Neil Magny at UFC Vegas 57 in July earned Rakhmonov consecutive “Performance of the Night” bonuses.
How to watch Geoff Neal vs. Shavkat Rakhmonov
Date: Saturday, March 4
Fight time: Main card starts at 10 p.m. ET
Live stream: ESPN+ PPV
DraftKings Sportsbook Odds/Predictions
Splits: 93% of handle, 89% of bets on Rakhmonov
The UFC welterweight division needs an influx of new blood that isn’t blown up lightweights like Conor McGregor and Michael Chandler. Rakhmonov looks like he’s that guy and after blowing through some preliminary opponents, the 28-year-old from Uzbekistan really put the top ten on notice by going through Magny. Neal is no pushover and the winner of this fight can easily put themselves in the top five and on the verge of a title shot against the winner of the Leon Edwards-Kamaru Usman fight on March 18 at UFC 286.
It feels like Rahkmonov is the guy. Expect Neal to give him a really good fight, but at some point, in the second round the tide will turn and Rahkmonov will earn a submission win.