Mokaev eyes belt after stunning UFC debut

Wigan's Muhammad Mokaev is predicting a 'fast-track' to a UFC title after marking his debut in stunning fashion at the London supercard.

By Paul Kendrick
Monday, 21st March 2022, 3:00 pm

The 21-year-old - who hails from Dagestan, but moved to Wigan as a 12-year-old refugee - needed only 58 seconds to land a flying knee followed by a nasty guillotine choke to beat Cody Durden.

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Muhammad Mokaev gets airborne on the way to a stunning victory over Cody Durden inside a minute

"Wow it feels amazing, especially with the other guy being 10 years older than me, and it being my debut," he said.

"I told (UFC chief) Dana White four years ago I would be in the UFC within three or four years.

"And to make a statement like this is something different.

"Now I want a top 15 name, I'm ready for that now.

"With respect, I'd like to fight Tim Elliott, who's in the top 10.

"I hope he accepts this fight, and when I beat him, it's on to the top five, and a fast-track to the UFC belt.

"I'd like to fight again as soon as possible.

"I have Ramadan coming up, but after that I'm ready...I'm probably the most active fighter in history!"

Despite being in the opening contest at the O2 Arena, Mokaev showed little sign of nerves against a far more experienced opponent.

"He's a wrestler, and they're always going to eat knees.

"I'm a wrestler too, but I'm also MMA and boxing as well.

"Once I got his neck, it was finished. If I get someone's neck, I finish everybody.

"In the gym, I spar with guys a lot heavier than me, I've never sparred with someone the same weight.

"And inside the cage, I'm just too strong for guys in my weight division - that's why I feel so confident.

"Straight after I watched a repeat of the fight and it was like watching a video game.

"I couldn't believe I was watching myself on the screen!"

Tom Aspinall, who hails from Atherton, produced a clinical display to record a first-round submission win over Russian Alexander Volkov in their headline contest.

However, Aspinall’s Team Kaobon team-mate, Wigan’s Mike Grundy, was was choked out by Makwan Amirkhani inside a minute.