It’s hard to draw up a UFC debut better than what Muhammad Mokaev produced in March. After signing with the promotion with a ton of hype behind him, he won in just 58 seconds.
Mokaev (7-0 MMA, 1-0 UFC), a Dagestani fighter who has lived the past 10 years of his life in England, opened the UFC Fight Night 204 card with a scintillating finish of Cody Durden that began with a flying knee and ended with a slick guillotine choke. It was perfection, but Mokaev wants to put on an even better encore.
“The Punisher” is scheduled to return to the octagon on July 23 when he meets Charles Johnson (11-2 MMA, 0-0 UFC) in a flyweight bout at UFC Fight Night in London, which takes place at The 02. For Mokaev, it’s important to make his sophomore UFC fight just as good as the debut.
“The arena is going to stand up again, the same as last time,” Mokaev told MMA Junkie Radio. “So people remember the fight. I”ll always do something that they remember. That’s why they (people) know me since amateur days.”
Mokaev, 21, is considering amongst the top prospects in the entire sport, and it’s because he’s dedicated his life to it. He made his amateur debut at just 15 years old, and gained a wealth of experience.
In fact, Mokaev racked up a 23-0 record in the amateur ranks, and he gained a ton of cage time in the process. He turned professional in August 2020, and has been flawless through eight career fights, finishing all but two of his opponents.
Mokaev thinks his experience as an amateur has done wonders for him as a professional, and it’s what has allowed him to find so much success.
“I make guys tired in three minutes, and then the fourth, fifth minute there’s a chance to finish them,” Mokaev said. “It’s easier to submit than amateur gloves, so as soon as I took these amateur gloves off, it was easier for me (to finish fight).