Fighter Spotlight: Manon Fiorot and Muhammad Mokaev

Manon Fiorot
Manon Fiorot Credit: IMMAF

This week, we feature two up-and-coming fighters both inside and outside of the UFC. One is an unranked fighter competing on this week’s UFC card, Manon Fiorot. The focus here is on a fighter who has never been ranked, but who could be one day. The other, Muhammad Mokaev, is a prospect outside the UFC who has a very high ceiling.

Flyweight, Manon Fiorot (6-1).

UFC Vegas 28 goes down this Saturday in Las Vegas, Nevada in the Apex arena. The card is topped off between two heavyweight contenders Jairzinho Rozenstruik and Augusto Sakai. On the card, there were a few options for who to put in the spotlight. I really like Kamuela Kirk, Mason Jones, and Gregory Rodrigues. Ultimately, I went with Manon Fiorot.

Manon Fiorot signed with the UFC in just January of this year. Fiorot beat the very gritty Victoria Leonardo, who is known for her toughness. Fiorot absolutely styled on her by a head kick and strikes late in the second round.

Fiorot lost her pro debut to Leah McCourt by split-decision (it’s worth noting that McCourt is now thriving in Bellator). Since that she has won her next six fights. In the fight to get Fiorot into the UFC, she won the UAE Warriors title.

Before transitioning to MMA Fiorot spent time in boxing and karate. In fact, she was a two-time French kickboxing and Karate champion and was the IMMAF 2017 amateur world champion in 2017. Fiorot is an excellent fighter on the feet with a wide arrange of skills. Right away you can recognize her extensive karate background as she throws a lot of kicks. Fiorot loves to use the sidekick to the gut to set the tone of the fight and keep the fight at her preferred range. She’s an excellent kicker and that may cause opponents to forget about her hands. The fighter from France is an intelligent striker/kickboxer but a killer all in the same sense. Fiorot doesn’t throw with any wasted motion always picking her shots and always using feints perfectly. She’s got really good footwork and is quick with her feet and her attacks.

While her standup prowess might make you question Fiorot’s other abilities, she is actually a good wrestler. She will beat her opponents up so much on the feet that when she shoots for a takedown they tend to have no idea it’s coming. Fiorot isn’t the most technical grappler; instead she will throw a lot of ground and pound to improve her position. Not a submission threat but she is a threat to stop the fight with ground and pound. Fiorot has major potential where at the very least she could be in the top 15 within two years.

Fiorot the red-hot up-and-comer is going against another top prospect in Tabatha Ricci. Ricci is taking this fight in under a week’s notice up a weight class. Ricci also has only five fights. Her opponents have a combined record of 4-10 so she hasn’t been tested thus far. Ricci is an accomplished jiu-jitsu ace however so she is definitely a threat.

Flyweight, Muhammad Mokaev (4-0)

Worldwide, Mokaev is one of the prospects with the most hype. Mokaev has an outstanding amateur career going 23-0 and was a four-time IMMAF gold medalist. The young 20-year-old has looked stellar and frankly dominant. Mokaev is destined for the UFC one way or another. In fact, he was contacted to fight on the Contender Series but he turned it down as he said he feels he deserves to sign with the UFC straight out.

The young man has looked stellar and dominant so far in his career. Mokaev has excellent wrestling and is very skilled on the mat. His positional grappling and ground and pound are very good. On the feet, he has a nice flow with his kicks and mixes in strikes and kicks together very well. Mokaev is extremely well-rounded and I see no flaws in him as of yet. “The Punisher” last march beat Abdul Hussein who is a solid fighter and Mokaev controlled the fight from start to finish.

Attempting to stop the hype train of Muhammad Mokaev is Georgia’s Ibragim Navruzov (5-1-1). Navruzov is going to challenge Mokaev in his takedown defense but I don’t see him having much success. He’s more of a low volume point fighter so Movaev should easily cruise in this fight.