Welcome to the UFC: Muhammad Mokaev

Muhammad Mokaev, UFC London
Muhammad Mokaev, UFC London Official Weigh-In Credit: Jay Anderson/Cageside Press

UFC London (UFC Fight Night 204) at the 02 Arena in London, England is headlined by heavyweight contenders Alexander Volkov and Tom Aspinall. Also on the card will be English favorites such as Arnold Allen, Paddy Pimblett, Molly McCann, Welsh fighter Jack Shore, and many others. On a stacked card there are a ton of fan favorites. One of those being the highly anticipated debut of Muhammad Mokaev taking on Cody Durden (12-3-1, 1-1-1).

Muhammad “The Punisher” Mokaev
Standing at 5’9″
Fighting at 125 lbs (flyweight)
From Russia but living in Manchester, England
Training out of KHK MMA Team
A pro record of 5-0
1 KO/TKO, 3 Submissions

What to expect from Muhammad Mokaev in the UFC:

Worldwide, Mokaev is one of the prospects with the most hype coming into the UFC in quite some time. Mokaev had an outstanding amateur career going 23-0 and was a four-time IMMAF gold medalist. The young 21-year-old has looked stellar and frankly dominant for the most part. He was contacted to fight on the Contender Series last year but turned it down as he said he felt he deserved to sign with the UFC straight out and here he is. Someone with this much hype, usually there will be some saying he’s overrated and that’s just not the case here. Wins over guys like Blaine O’Driscoll and Abdul Hussein prove he’s the real deal.

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. I like Mokaev at both flyweight and bantamweight. I do think he will excel quickly at flyweight but has the potential to do well in two divisions. Mokaev is championship material and I do predict he will wear gold eventually. I don’t think he’s going to just run through everyone and win the title within two years. I do think he will have setbacks but at his age he is no doubt destined for gold.

How he matches up with Durden:

Durden has had bouts in boxing and kickboxing but is primarily a wrestler. He does throw some heavy leg kicks and an overhand right but shoots in on the leg quickly. Sometimes he’ll crash his way into the pocket, but once he does, he moves to get the takedown. I can see him taking down Mokaev and that would be his biggest path to victory. I do think the movement and speed of Mokaev will give Durden problems. On the feet, while Durden possesses a threat I’m way more confident in Mokaev. I think Mokaev is better everywhere.