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Geoff Neal injured, undefeated prospect Shavkat Rakhmonov loses opponent for UFC Vegas 67

Unfortunate news for fans waiting to see this welterweight matchup. 

Geoff Neal at the UFC APEX in August 2022.
Geoff Neal at the UFC APEX in August 2022.
Photo by Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC

One of the most intriguing fights on UFC Vegas 67 is off.

Igor Lazorin of TASS reports that Geoff Neal vs. Shavkat Rakhmonov is canceled after ‘Handz of Steel’ suffered an undisclosed injury. The report was confirmed by Rakhmonov, who reacted to the loss of his opponent.

“Apparently [Geoff Neal] is all talk,” tweeted Rakhmonov.

According to the report, the UFC is searching for a replacement for Rakhmonov, but it could be difficult for the promotion to find someone on short notice for the undefeated fighter.

Rakhmonov is 16-0 as a professional, with eight wins by (T)KO and eight wins by submission. The ‘Nomad’ earned finishes of Alex Oliveira, Michel Prazeres and Carlston Harris in his first three UFC fights.

In his most recent appearance, Rakhmonov submitted Neil Magny by second-round guillotine at UFC Vegas 57 this past June. That win not only scored him his second consecutive ‘Performance of the Night’ bonus, but also a spot in the official UFC rankings.

Following back-to-back losses against Stephen Thompson and the aforementioned Magny, Neal rebounded with wins over Santiago Ponzinibbio and Vicente Luque.

UFC Vegas 67 is set for Sat., Jan. 14, at the UFC APEX in Las Vegas. The upcoming Fight Night is headlined by a middleweight fight between Kelvin Gastelum and Nassourdine Imavov.