Muhammad Mokaev just keeps on adding more and more highlights to his resume! After making his UFC debut against Cody Durden in London on March 19, 2022, he is back in the same arena a year later. This time around, he took on Jafel Filho in the prelims of UFC 286. He finished Filho with a neck crank submission in the third round of the bout at the 4:32 minute mark.
HOW ABOUT THE TOUGHNESS OF THE YOUNG PUNISHER!— UFC Europe (@UFCEurope) March 18, 2023
🇬🇧 @MuhammadMokaev grits it out and gets the finish! WOW! #UFC286 pic.twitter.com/nNayOrAmVE
As per UFC stats, Mokaev landed a total of 79 strikes and 16 significant strikes. But, he is known for his dominant wrestling and he did not disappoint on that front either. Mokaev attempted 8 takedowns and secured 4 of them, with an accuracy rate of 50%. The Dagestan-born fighter was a massive favorite ahead of the bout and he won the bout rightfully. However, there was a point when Mokaev could have faced his very first defeat.
Somehow @MuhammadMokaev survived this kneebar 😳 #UFC286 pic.twitter.com/yu1pgbyzJF— UFC (@ufc) March 18, 2023
With about two minutes to go in the final round, Filho caught Mokaev in a kneebar. While fighters often attempt many submissions with very small effects, Filho had the kneebar completely locked. The panic was visible on Mokaev’s face as he struggled to get out of the hold. At one point during the grappling exchange, Mokaev’s knee even hyper-extended terribly. But, somehow, Mokaev managed to survive and slip out.
Why did Muhammad Mokaev tap here? #UFC286 pic.twitter.com/t6Z4hZZYJd— Shakiel Mahjouri (@Shak_Fu) March 18, 2023
Although Mokaev did not tap during the kneebar attempt, he did tap in the first round. Right after the one-minute mark of the first round, Mokaev seemingly tapped while he was in Filho’s guard. CBS Sports’ Shakiel Mahjouri pointed it out on Twitter. As fans found out later, Mokaev had an injured shoulder ahead of the bout. Interestingly, while Mokaev was tapping, Filho seemed to have a hold of Mokaev’s shoulder. But the incident went unnoticed by the ref.
Fans react to Muhammad Mokaev escaping the kneebar at UFC 286
Not only did Muhammad Mokaev survive the terrible position, but he also managed to then finish the bout via submission of his own. It just proves that he is not one to quit in the face of adversity. With the spectacular win at UFC 286, Mokaev now improves his MMA record to 10-0 and his UFC record to 4-0.
During his post-fight interview, Mokaev spoke about coming into the bout with an injured shoulder. He also gave credit to Jafel Filho, who put on a great effort against a dominant fighter like Mokaev. However, “The Punisher,” who currently lives in England, wanted to put on a great show for the fans in attendance inside the O2 Arena in London. But, fans online just could not believe that Mokaev managed to survive the submission attempt.
Here are some fan reactions on the matter
Still thinking about Mokaev's knee and the no tap 😳#UFC286 #MMATwitter @muhammadmokaev pic.twitter.com/iEqCshx4WK— 𝕮𝖍𝖗𝖎𝖘𝖙𝖆𝖑 𝗖𝗧𝗚 (@christalthegr8) March 18, 2023
THIS WAS ACTUALLY WILD TO WATCH UNTHINKABLE HOW HE DIDNT TAP THEN WON @muhammadmokaev IS A WARRIOR 🔥 https://t.co/ll6rfRgqg6— TrapLord Ryan (@crackaryan710) March 18, 2023
Dude is chewy @muhammadmokaev pic.twitter.com/xi5aRKj8Sw— rawaa (@kinrawwa) March 18, 2023
Your not human that leg looked fucked. Hope your leg and shoulder heal up well.— Tyler Young (@TylerYoung_01) March 18, 2023
@muhammadmokaev mans tendons are made of dyneema pic.twitter.com/KKALvFFCNk— Tin (@solidgeeza) March 18, 2023
Although he still has a long way to go in the division, Muhammad Mokaev seems destined to fight for the UFC belt in the future. After Michael Bisping and Leon Edwards, Mokaev may just be the third British fighter to hold a UFC championship!
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