London, England — After a thrilling coming out party at the O2 Arena back in March that saw him finish Cody Durden inside of a round, Muhammad Mokaev will make his encore performance at UFC London this Saturday.
Same city, same venue, new opponent. That would be Charles Johnson, a former LFA flyweight champ who Mokaev called an “okay striker” during this week’s UFC London media day.
So what has changed for Mokaev (6-0, 1NC) since his March debut?
“A lot of attention, but that’s why I went to American Top Team, in America,” he explained. “Stayed in the gym, live without distractions, stay focused. Because my goal is not far.”
That attention has even come from the likes of Wayne Rooney and Anthony Joshua. “That’s right, and Donald Trump Jr. too,” Mokaev added. That sort of acknowledgement, “it’s normal,” Mokaev said. “When they’re legends, they see it’s not easy work, and they respect up-and-coming fighters.”
Joshua in particular is someone Mokaev has something in common with: both had lengthy amateur careers. That has almost certainly helped with their success, he believes.
After steamrolling Durden in March, Mokaev reportedly had difficulty securing an opponent for Saturday. With that in mind, he has a couple of fighters he’s ready to call out with a win.
“Jeff Molina, ranked 15 now. Tim Elliott, I know Tim Elliott doesn’t turn fights down. Last time I called him out, I didn’t know he had an opponent. Now he’s free,” Mokaev said, listing his suggestions. “I’m free for October. November, Madison Square Garden. Abu Dhabi, October. Whatever date he’s free, I’m free too. I think this is good opponents.” Mokaev then added one more. “Matt Schnell, [who] just beat my good neighbor Su [Mudaerji].”
Watch the full UFC London media day appearance from Muhammad Mokaev above. The event takes place this Saturday, July 23, 2022 at the O2 Arena in London, England.