Rashid Yusupov wasn’t able to display his full skill-set against Mikhail Mokhnatkin, but a third-round knockdown was enough to earn a decision at PFL 3 2019.
Rashid Yusupov came into the first season of PFL as a 10-0 prospect from Dagestan. Unfortunately, he lost via jaw injury in his first appearance and was unable to fight a second time last year, eliminating him from playoff contention. Of his 10 victories, Yusupov has five knockouts and two submissions and was once the M-1 light heavyweight champion.
Mikhail Mokhnatkin makes his PFL debut with an 11-3-2 record. While he does not have many fights on his record, he has shared the cage with Fabio Maldonado, Derrick Mehmen, Sergey Pavlovich, and Jiri Prochazka. The former Sambo world champion is coming off a loss to last season’s top-seeded heavyweight, Francimar Barroso. Of his 11 career victories, four are by way of knockout and four have come by submission.
Rashid Yusupov started the fight with long jabs and kicks. Mikhail Mokhnatkin began to throw kicks in response after about two minutes went by. The fighters traded leg kicks in a relatively tame first round, as neither man was truly pressing the action. A counter-right hand landed for Mokhnatkin followed by a fake shot for a takedown. Leg kicks continued to be exchanged with a few straight punches at the end of a round void of much action.
The fighters picked up where they left off, with a Yusupov leg kick. Yusupov controlled the cage with his footwork, staying diligent with his jab. Mokhnatkin fired a spinning backfist that hit air, then a right hand that landed. Again, not much was happening between the two Russian fighters.
The jabs kept coming from both fighters as the bout never quite hit second gear. That is until a cracking left hand from Yusupov knocked down Mokhnatkin. Yusupov hopped into side control and started pounding away. Mokhnatkin scrambled into guard and hunted for a triangle. Yusupov slipped out, getting back into side control. Mokhnatkin got Yusupov to half guard, but couldn’t get off his back.
— #PFLmma (@ProFightLeague) June 7, 2019
Rashid Yusupov def. Mikhail Mokhnatkin by Unanimous Decision (30-27 x2, 30-26)