Muhammad Mokaev is excited to return to London and perform in front of his hometown fans again.
Mokaev made good of his UFC debut back in March as he submitted Cody Durden in 58-seconds. After the win, Mokaev wanted a quick turnaround but it was hard for him to get an opponent until former LFA flyweight champ Charles Johnson, who he previously trained with, agreed to fight.
“I did train with him in 2019 at Tiger Muay Thai,” Mokaev said on Just Scrap Radio on BJPENN.com. “He’s a decent striker, good cardio but huge gaps in the ground game, wrestling, grappling, which you can’t learn as fast, you must have two, or three years at least to get to that level. Two years ago I was an amateur and was still smashing all the pros in the gym, it doesn’t matter in the gym, in the cage I will show an even better performance.”
Given the fact that Mokaev trained with Johnson a few years ago and didn’t think he was that good, he is expecting a rather one-sided fight. He is confident he can beat Johnson wherever the fight goes but does believe he will find the submission.
“It’s a great matchup, grappler, wrestler, striker vs. just a striker. I’m going to strike, I’m going to take him down, I’m going to finish him,” Mokaev said. “There are levels to this grappling, if I finished top-15 guys in the flyweight division when I trained with them, Charles Johnson is simple. I believe I’ll get the submission.”
If Muhammad Mokaev does get the submission win over Charles Johnson, he will improve to 8-0 as a pro after going 23-0 as an amateur.
With that, Mokaev believes not many fighters will want to face him, which is already happening. He says he was offered a few ranked opponents and they all turned him down after his debut. That is disappointing for Mokaev who is looking to become the youngest UFC champion and he has two years to do so.
“I have two years to become the youngest UFC champion and I don’t want these guys to stop my dream,” Mokaev said. “If they don’t want to fight then just give me their spot and move back, I’m here to fight, you can’t get into the top-15 and not fight. This is fighting… The UFC did offer me top-15 guys after my debut but nobody accepted it. They say they don’t know me, but they all know me, of course, they know me. They don’t want to risk their spot, when I finish this fight, my name will be more on the map.”
Not only is Mokaev confident he will eventually become the champ, but he thinks he could do it soon. The 21-year-old thinks he’s only two or three fights away from the belt and says he sees nothing special with anyone at flyweight.
“I believe I’m already two, three fights away from the belt. I just need to get the right matchups and I believe I beat all of these guys, none of them are special. The only special guys were Cejudo and Demetrious Johnson. Now, I don’t see anyone special in the flyweight division,” Mokaev concluded.
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