UFC 284 is in the middle of a challenging metamorphosis. It’s gone from a red hot card in Perth, Australia loaded with the best Aussie fighters in history to ... well, losing Robert Whittaker and Kai Kara-France in one week really hurt. And there’s still two more months for more fights to fall out. Time to seal Alexander Volkanovski up in bubble wrap, we think.
While the UFC hasn’t shown much urgency when it comes to patching the holes in it’s latest leaky pay-per-view, the fighters on their roster are champing at the bit to fly down under in February 2023. Middleweight contender Jared Cannonier has already said ‘Hell yeah!’ to fighting Robert Whittaker in Australia (with the UFC seemingly uninterested for some reason).
And now rising prospect Muhammad Mokaev is calling out Kai Kara-France’s opponent Alex Perez in the hopes that they can scrap in Perth.
Thank you for the tags people! Thank you for believing in me! I want this fight, I’m ready to step in! @ufc— Muhammad Mokaev (@muhammadmokaev) December 23, 2022
Alex Perez I’m only 22 years old, young and small kid but hungry! Let’s fight— Muhammad Mokaev (@muhammadmokaev) December 23, 2022
The No. 14 ranked flyweight Mokaev is on a three fight win streak in the UFC and hopes to become the youngest champion in the history of the promotion. That means he’ll have to make some big moves up the rankings fast, and No. 6 ranked Alex Perez is the perfect person to do it against.
Unfortunately, there’s a current trend where fighters sitting in or near the top five refuse to fight down in the rankings. It makes sense on a business level, but it leads to situations like this where Perez needs an opponent and Mokaev is worthy despite his lower ranking ... but nothing happens.
Which may be why Mokaev just offered to pay Perez $10,000 to accept the fight.
Dvorak blocked me when I called him out!— Muhammad Mokaev (@muhammadmokaev) December 23, 2022
Amir Albazi said that I need to fight someone from ranking but out of 4 fights he never fought anyone from top 15
I don’t know who else is available ♂️
Young & Hungry too dangerous for them!
I’m willing to give Alex Perez $10,000 if he accepts this fight and turn up to the event!— Muhammad Mokaev (@muhammadmokaev) December 23, 2022
Unfortunately my payment not as high, I’m on $16,000 at the moment but I’m here to make a history! #M57
“I’m willing to give Alex Perez $10,000 if he accepts this fight and turn up to the event!” Mokaev wrote on Twitter after other tweets implied Perez was ducking him. “Unfortunately my payment not as high, I’m on $16,000 at the moment but I’m here to make a history!”
In more positive UFC 284 news, it sounds like ESPN’s male rookie of the year and Aussie fighter Jack Della Maddalena may end up on the card after all.
“Looking forward to starting the next year in Perth on February 12,” Maddalena wrote in an Instagram post a few hours ago. “So far 5 have said no, but looks like we got someone. Fight news soon.”
As it stands, UFC 284 on February 11th in Perth, Australia is headlined by a champion vs. champion superfight between featherweight champ Alexander Volkanovski and lightweight champ Islam Makhachev. Yair Rodriguez and Josh Emmett will fight for the interim featherweight title in the co-main.