This weekend’s UFC 294 pay-per-view event will mark the next step on flyweight prospect Muhammad Mokaev’s planned surge to the championship.
Mokaev, who signed with MMA’s premier promotion in 2021 on the back of a successful amateur career, has never been shy about proclaiming his ambitious goals inside the Octagon.
That includes a fast rise towards contention in a bid to break Jon Jones’ record for being the youngest champion in UFC history. Thus far, “The Punisher” has done no damage to his intentions, having won all four of his outings to date.
His next task will be to break into the top 10, a feat he has the opportunity to accomplish when he shares the cage with flyweight veteran Tim Elliott in Abu Dhabi this Saturday.
But although the in-form American isn’t expected to serve as an easy path up the ladder for the Dagestani-born Brit, Mokaev already has some callouts in mind for post-fight.
Mokaev Names Three Fighters Fans ‘Want To See’ Him Beat
During a recent interview with Sportskeeda MMA, Mokaev looked ahead to his return to action in the Middle East this weekend, and answered whether he’s got some names in mind for his interviews after the fact.
The #11-ranked contender is setting the bar high should he get the better of Elliott, with two top five flyweights in the mix when it comes to his desired next fight. Mokaev is also willing to lower his targets to share the cage with a rival whom he’s consistently traded barbs with on social media.
“There’s Amir Albazi, Manel Kape, and Kai Kara-France,” Mokaev said. “These are the people that I want to face before the title. One of those three, because there are three people that people want to see me beat.
“I don’t care, whoever. Whoever accepts. But so far, if you follow me on Twitter, Manel Kape never accepted the challenger,” Mokaev continued. “He’s like, ‘You’re not my level, you’re not this.’ But he just went like, hard decision against debutant. He’s supposed to be like, ‘champion,’ by his words.”
Before looking ahead to potential showdowns with any of those names, however, Mokaev must first get past Elliott. That will likely not be a simple task given the veteran’s active winning run, which has seen him beat Tagir Ulanbekov and Victor Altamirano in back-to-back fights.
If Mokaev is to set up the chance to achieve a record-breaking crowning by the March 2024 deadline, an emphatic victory over the 36-year-old Kansas native is essential.
— Muhammad Mokaev (@muhammadmokaev) October 19, 2023
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