UFC prospect Muhammad Mokaev wants no association with Russia: ‘Please just keep Dagestan for me’

Muhammad Mokaev no association with Russia please keep Dagestan for me UFC

Undefeated flyweight prospect Muhammad Mokaev does not want to be identified as Russian.

‘The Punisher’ is coming off his ninth-straight victory following a third-round submission of Jafel Filho at UFC 286 last month. Recently, Mokaev took to Twitter with a screenshot of his walkout from the event and specifically pointed out where the promotion had identified him as hailing from Buynaksk, Dagestan, Russia.

“I don’t like this! Please just keep Dagestan for me for my next walk out!”

Mokaev provided some additional insight in a follow-up tweet.

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“I have read a lot of comments how Russians against Muslims who wants to building mosque in Moscow! That was enough for me I can say the country where I live now have never openly gave been against mosques,” Mokaev tweeted.

Many professional athletes have attempted to distance themselves from being associated with Russia following the country’s controversial invasion of Ukraine more than a year ago.

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Muhammad Mokaev Went From Refugee To UFC Star

Born in the Republic of Dagestan, Muhammad Mokaev relocated to Liverpool when he was 12 years old following the death of his mother. His father drove them across mainland Europe before arriving in the UK as refugees.

“I came to UK as a refugee and I was getting like £5 a day. Me and my father on £5 a day, it’s like maybe $6-7, and it’s like you have to split this for food and clothes and Internet for your phone. It’s not enough. I was hungry,” Muhammad Mokaev said in an interview with CNN Sports.

Eventually, they were relocated to a home in Wigan, northern England, where he began pursuing combat sports after being introduced to a youth center by one of his teachers.

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“Basically there’s like football, wrestling, boxing; there was everything. So I went to boxing and then next hour I went to wrestling.

“And then one day this guy said: ‘Let’s do boxing and wrestling in the ring.’ So I was taking this guy down and this guy was part of the northern regions code in the UK for wrestling. So I asked him where can we go for wrestling. And then he showed me the gym. So I went to wrestling club and that’s the beginning.”

In 2021, ‘The Punisher’ became an official citizen of England.