Muhammad Mokaev has only been signed to the UFC for a few days but is already laying out his plans for the future.
Mokaev is a two-time IMMAF junior world champion and a two-time European champion. Born in Dagestan but based in the UK, Mokaev has been one of the top prospects in MMA for a little bit now. He recently spoke about his signing and the expectations that he puts upon himself. (H/T mmajunkie.com)
“I’m really excited, but this is not my final destination,” Mokaev said. “This is part of my journey to become the greatest so my dream is to become the youngest UFC champion. I’m excited but at the same time, it’s not my final destination.”
To achieve this goal, Mokaev will have to move fast once he gets his first fight in the UFC. The youngest champion in UFC history was Jon Jones who reached the top of the division at 23 years old. Mokaev is currently 21 years old and will have to get through a stacked flyweight division to do it.
“Top five and be a contender for the title fight,” Mokaev said on his goals for 2022.”
‘The Punisher’ goes on to say that he would really like to make his debut on the rumored London card coming up in March of next year.
“I want to get on this card because first time in my life I watched UFC London in 2016,” Mokaev said. “My friend Rustam Khabilov was fighting on that card, and I went there and was like, ‘Wow, this arena is nice, I want to be here.’ It was O2 Arena and my friend got me a ticket there. I was competing in the morning in Wigan in a wrestling tournament and then at night time I went to London to watch UFC so this is something good for my background story. I want to be there if any opponent wants this hype, I’ll give it to them.”
When asked who he wants for his debut, Mokaev wasted no time calling out Cody Durden, who recently came under fire over his post fight comments following his win this past weekend.
“He apologized, but it’s wrong,” Mokaev said. “You cannot be like I’ll send him back (to China), this is the wrong mentality. He isn’t the greatest, he had four fights in the UFC and he’s old as well, 29 years old, whatever. I’m gonna make him retire and send him to America. I don’t find this as racism, it is in a kind of way, but this guy talks too much. Let me smash him for my UFC debut and when I ask my fans, my supporters said let’s go. If they want to see this, I will show them.”
Mokaev acknowledges that the UFC flyweight division is not a cakewalk but believes that he has what it takes to make to the top quickly.
“It’s not that they can throw a one-two better than me or they have special takedown defense or attack or some special triangle I have never seen in my life,” Mokaev said. “Everybody knows everything at this level. It’s about mentality. Like I said, I come from a tough background, so it’s about mentality. Who wants it more, who’s gonna push it when hard times are gonna knock and when there’s difficulties in weight cut, and which injuries are gonna get in your head.
“There are many factors that make a champion. Not just that he’s a better striker or he’s a better grappler. It’s way deeper than this. I would say there are some opponents I fought if I grappled them in the gym, that might be better than me, but in a fight, the mentality I have, nobody can beat.”
The full interview can be viewed below.