UFC’s Muhammad Mokaev ready to switch to “second gear” in quest to become youngest-ever champion

Wigan-based Muhammad Mokaev looks to continue his winning streak on Saturday – setting up a fight to become the youngest-ever UFC champion.

The 23-year-old faces Tim Elliot on Saturday night in the UFC – the top promotion of MMA – believing that should he be victorious, he will be next in line for a shot at the flyweight belt.

Mokaev is aiming to dethrone legendary UFC superstar Jon Jones, who won the light-heavyweight championship in 2011 aged 23.  

“That is what I’ve been dreaming about, before I was in first gear but now, I’m switching to second gear,” he said in an interview with TNT Sports.

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To do so, he must win the UFC Flyweight Championship on or before March 29, 2024, where he would still be just a day younger than Jones was when he won the championship belt.  

But to get his chance, Mokaev must first defeat number 10-ranked flyweight Tim Elliott in Abu Dhabi on Saturday night.

Mokaev has been calling for a fight with Tim Elliott since his UFC debut and believes that he will be too much for the 36-year-old who he described as “old and small”.

“For me I think he’s a comfortable opponent, he’s awkward but I’m awkward for anyone in this division,” he said.

Should Mokaev be successful against Elliott he will extend his winning streak within the UFC to 5-0, which he believes will push him as the next contender for the UFC flyweight title.

In his last fight, Mokaev suffered a severe injury to his knee after his opponent tried to force him to submit to a kneebar – a wrestling move which bends your opponent’s knee out of place.

“To be honest, I was thinking it was going to pop out because I heard noises, It was 52 seconds but it felt like 20 minutes,” he said.

Although Mokaev refused to submit and ultimately won that fight, significant damage was caused to his knee, leaving some fans to wonder how he might come back.

“I did my recovery with Wigan Athletics, they helped me, I did full rehab by staying in shape and doing something every day,” he said.

If Mokaev is successful in achieving his dream and breaking the record, he is adamant that he won’t stop there.

The Wigan man has his eyes set on going up in weight and winning the bantamweight title, breaking another record as the youngest ever double champ in the history of the sport.

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