By Jake Smith
Former IMMAF World Champions, Manon Fiorot & Muhammad Mokaev, lead the charge of a number of IMMAF alumni competing in shows around the globe this week. Both Fiorot & Mokaev have performed extremely impressively since signing with the UFC and BRAVE CF, respectively and will be looking to continue their pursuit towards the upper echelons of their divisions.
On June 4th, Mokaev takes on Ibragim Navruzov (5-1-1) at BRAVE CF 51: The Future Is Here, in a 130lbs catchweight bout. ‘The Punisher’ has continued his unrivalled dominance since joining the professional leagues, systematically and methodically outworking his opposition and continuing his growth as an elite level athlete.
Last time out Mokaev claimed his biggest victory to date, handing 2016 IMMAF World Champion, Abdul Hussein, only the second loss of his career. Mokaev’s tenacious work rate was once again on display, pushing the pace and dictating the flow of the bout, a style he is synonymous with.
In Navruzov, Mokaev faces another tough challenge. No stranger to the judges’ scorecards, four of Navruzov’s victories have come by way of decision. The Georgian will be hoping to secure his name firmly in the BRAVE talentpool, in his promotional debut, and willing to face an on form Mokaev certainly shows his intent and belief in his ability.
Mokaev will be aware that another victory will further cement him as one of the most in form athletes in the world.
At UFC Fight Night: Rozenstruik vs. Sakai, Fiorot will look to take a step closer to Flyweight gold when she faces Maryna ‘Iron Lady’ Moroz (10-3-0) in an all European affair.
After an illustrious amateur career and collecting two professional titles in the space of six pro bouts, it was no surprise when the UFC came calling for Fiorot. ‘The Beast’ made her highly anticipated UFC debut on ‘Fight Island’ in January 2021. She faced Victoria Leonardo and displaying her superior striking skill set, the French native cruised to a second round standing TKO. Following her victory, Fiorot was asked if she believed more young fighters should gain experience as amateurs before jumping into the professional leagues, she said:
“Yes I think it is essential to go to the amateur championships and it brought me so much experience and I think everyone should go through IMMAF.”
From a fellow UFC debutant to an eight fight UFC vet, it appears the UFC are keen to push Fiorot towards the rankings with this matchup against Moroz. Moroz has struggled to gain steady momentum, staggeringly having eight bouts cancelled throughout her 5 year tenure with the promotion and only managing to compete four times since 2017. However, she is currently in the joint best form of her UFC run, coming into this clash off the back of two unanimous decision victories against Mayra Bueno Silva & Sabina Mazo.
Fiorot’s savvy strikes, intertwined with her grappling make her a difficult matchup for most, she will be hoping that her relentless forward pressure will be enough to become the first lady to stop Moroz in the UFC.
Mokaev and Fiorot are two of many IMMAF alumni competing throughout the week. Elsewhere, John Nguyen, Ali Wasuk, Emanuele Sabatino, Cody Barnwell, Dee Begley and Matthew Nicholson all compete.