Muhammad Mokaev ready to step up, predicts Brave CF flyweight title bout with Jose Torres
Muhammad Mokaev is ready to take his career to the next level.
Mokaev (4-0) notched four pro wins in the span of four months as a bantamweight, and is now set to drop down to flyweight for his next bout as he sets his sights on his first pro title at 125 pounds.
Targeting a return in February, Mokaev told MMA Junkie he hopes to secure a No. 1 contender bout, then a shot at the Brave CF flyweight tournament winner.
“I want (an) interim belt. Well, I don’t know if Brave does this and then fight the winner of the tournament,” Mokaev explained. “Not like (a) fight for the belt, I want to fight the winner of the tournament. The biggest tournament in the world at the moment, so I want to fight the winner.”
The Brave CF flyweight tournament includes the likes of former UFC fighters Jose Torres, Dustin Ortiz and Zach Makovsky, but Mokaev expects Torres (9-1-1) to emerge as the new flyweight champion.
With both men coming from similar amateur backgrounds, it would make for a great story. But, despite the gap in experience, Mokaev likes his chances against fellow former IMMAF amateur champion Torres.
“He won two times the world championships, I won two times the world championships, but he was winning world championships when there was no Russia competing, when there was no Kazakhstan. There was America, U.K., some countries in Europe. Now, world championships are another level in IMMAF, so all countries are competing now.
“Jose Torres isn’t as motivated as I am. I follow him, we represent the same team, KHK, but he’s my future opponent and when I saw him in Brave in October, I told him we’re gonna fight soon. I’m hungrier than this guy. This guy’s lifestyle and my lifestyle are different.”
In the quarterfinals of the flyweight tournament, Torres battled to a majority draw with Sean Santella at Brave CF 42 in September and the two are expected to rematch to determine who moves on to the semi-finals.
A fight with whoever ends up winning the tournament would mean a significant jump in competition for Mokaev, but he insists that he’s ready and that this step up is necessary in order to achieve his goal of setting records for youngest champion.
“I’m already feeling strong, and I don’t have much time,” Mokaev said. “I have three years to be the youngest UFC champion, the youngest Brave champion. If guys see me sparring with UFC fighters like featherweights and lightweights, they will understand that I can take some flyweights out and we have UFC fighters in the gym and my wrestling – it’s not about strength, it’s about technique and understanding your energy level, when to spend and when to relax so I have enough experience at the moment.”