As an amateur MMA fighter Muhammad Mokaev set new standards that will be aspired to for years to come. He smashed the conventional mould, blazed his own trail and snatched our attention along the way. At age 19 his sponsors and global fanbase of thousands eclipses that of many established professionals and the world’s leading promoters were lining up their bids as his attention turned towards taking the next step.
At 23-0 Mokaev may not be the first amateur to break the 20 wins barrier, he follows in the footsteps of IMMAF world champions and predecessors whose records have ranged from 25-1 to 28-0, yet, above all others, only Mokaev has been able to command such a level of global notoriety.
Mokaev has shown wisdom beyond his years in preparation for a highly anticipated pro career. Striking a sublime balance between that of a humble role model and a fiery, charismatic fight seller, the young athlete was already bringing a spotlight to his domestic level bouts prior to his 18th birthday. Born in Dagestan, Mokaev would hone his craft upon discovering wrestling and MMA at a young age after his family moved to north of England.
While also representing the British wrestling team at an international level, Mokaev took over the UK MMA scene and following his 18th birthday excited fans as he was now able to step up to the IMMAF platform, amateur MMA’s premier proving ground. Dedicating two years to IMMAF competition with Team UK (later restructured as Team England), the men’s bantamweight prodigy earned back-to-back gold medals at the Junior IMMAF World Championships in 2018 and 2019, in addition to winning the 2019 Jr European Open title followed by a successful senior division debut, cruising to gold at the 2020 Oceania Open. Mokaev proved that his talent could shine beyond UK borders, now besting top representatives of Sweden, Russia, Ireland Bulgaria and Japan, including an inspiring trilogy of bouts with Japan’s own top up and comer, Reo Yamaguchi.
Revealing closely contested discussions that saw the likes of Bellator MMA and ONE Championship join the race for his signature, Mokaev announced that his professional career was set to begin upon putting pen to paper with Bahrain based organisation, Brave CF. Mokaev cited the promotion’s support and recognition for his career potential in addition to retaining the opportunity for a move to the UFC in the coming years.
The bar has been raised considerably for the level of prominence that a complete package can accumulate in amateur MMA. Mokaev has set a leading example with a legacy that stands as a motivational case study for future generations of talent.