The UK’s most prominent amateur MMA standout, junior World and European champion Muhammed Mokaev earned his 16th amateur victory over the weekend. The Manchester athlete out of Aspire Combat Sports Academy cruised to a unanimous decision on July 13 over Birmingham’s Myles Richards.
Yet again, the Team GB wrestler delivered his signature takedowns and unrivaled top game. Never sitting between rounds, the image of his confidence remains lucid from bell-to-bell as opponents remain unable to produce an answer for the young champion’s drowning effect and continuously evolving skill set.
After earning gold last month at the European Open in Rome, Mokaev spoke to MMA UK’s Katie Hunter following his latest victory in Sheffield, England. He praised the talent level of IMMAF – WMMAA championships as amateur MMA’s highest tier, and discussed the effect it has had on cementing his confidence when returning to action at the British domestic level.
“IMMAF is a good level,” he stated, “it’s a build up to the UFC and big stages, you go through medicals and weigh ins (daily) and you feel the atmosphere.”
As 2019 rolls on, Mokaev revealed hopes to compete under the Cage Warriors banner in September and looked ahead to the 2019 IMMAF – WMMAA World Championships in November, where he will represent Team England.
Mokaev exemplifies perhaps the best mindset of any amateur in the world today, he remains forthright and undeterred by the lure of what will no doubt be a prominent professional debut. As he commits to a further year of amateur development, he is reflective of elite amateur boxers showing awareness for just how much talent development can be achieved as an international amateur, in addition to the equity and marketability in being the best in the world. Mokaev is setting a trailblazing example.
“Next year I would like to do amateur as well,” he revealed. Mokaev set out his next target of gold at the senior IMMAF – WMMAA level, following the footsteps of national team mate and fellow junior world champion Megan Morris, who joined the senior ranks of this year’s European Open, earning the women’s bantamweight silver medal. Russia’s junior world champions, Igor Glazkov and Magomedkhabib Umarov also made the jump to senior in dominant fashion as the duo stormed their way to gold in Rome.
“This is not my last year of amateur,” Mokaev added. “I want to show I’m number-one. I’m the pound-for-pound number-one junior in the world. Maybe this year I will do senior IMMAF, I’m going to work with my coaches and speak to my team. I would be the youngest IMMAF [senior] world champion, and I believe I can.”
Mokaev went on to express his ambitions for UK MMA collectively on the international platform, and his hope to see a unified coming together of the nation’s gyms. Following the dissolution of the UK MMA Federation (UKMMAF), the UK’s standouts will next be in action at the 2019 World Championships representing Team England (EMMAA), Team Wales (MMA Cymru) and Team Northern Ireland (UMMAA).
Upon turning 18 years old, Mokaev made his international debut and represented the UK at the IMMAF – WMMAA Junior World Championships in 2018, followed by the 2019 Junior European Open, taking gold medals on each occasion in the men’s bantamweight division with a combined total of 7 bouts adding to his overall 16-0 record.
Watch the full interview below.
By IMMAF.org lead writer: Jorden Curran