Muhammad Mokaev was in just his second fight tonight since joining the UFC. Although he failed to find a finish this time around, the Manchester resident managed to break a running record within his division.
Before deciding to make the jump to professional MMA, “The Punisher” had extensive amateur experience. Beginning his career at the age of 15 in 2015, the grappling magician has racked up an incredible 23-0 record over five years, making him one of the most established amateurs in the history of the sport.
The 21-year-old is known for his elite level of wrestling and showed it in his fight against Charles Johnson at UFC London tonight. Despite not being able to finish his opponent, the flyweight managed to get a dominant 12 knockouts, breaking the previous record of 10 for a 125-pound three-round fight.
What’s even more amazing about Mokaev’s performance in the O2 Arena was the fact that he was just two knockouts away from the division record for a five-round fight, according to Wikipedia.
Although he was outplayed for the entire 15 minute fight, Charles Johnson did well to avoid Mokaev’s constant submission threat and should take the positives out of his performance.
Muhammad Mokaev’s road to the UFC
Prior to moving to the octagon, Muhammad Mokaev spent most of his professional mixed martial arts career fighting under the Brave Combat Federation banner.
In 13 months, the flyweight has had an amazing seven fights inside the cage, winning six and receiving an unfortunate uncontest due to an accidental groin kick.
Mokaev’s first big test came against Jamie Kelly’s 3-0 record, which he dispatched with a rear-naked choke midway through the third round. Two fights later, the Dagestan-born fighter was met by the 7-1 Abdul Hussein, whom he beat via a solid unanimous decision.
Former Bellator and BAMMA athlete Blaine O’Driscoll served as the prospect’s final fight ahead of his move to the UFC. Mokaev made light work of the veteran with a submission early in the second round.
Mokaev’s adventure in the octagon saw him live up to the hype. He destroyed Cody Durden with a flying knee and subsequent guillotine choke for a first-round finish. While his last performance wasn’t his brightest, a record outing in his second UFC appearance is a memorable feat.