Muhammad Mokaev is a fighter on the rise, having already competed four times inside the Octagon since joining UFC in March 2022. He even accepted a fight against a little-known opponent named Jafel Filho to compete at the latest London, England, event at UFC 286.
There are no easy fights in UFC, and Filho ended up being a stiffer test for Mokaev than many expected. In fact, he caught Mokaev in the third round with a brutal kneebar (see it) that would have tapped out 99.9 percent of other fighters.
But, Mokaev refused to tap, even as his leg was bent backwards in brutal fashion (watch highlights here).
“The Punisher” escapes the hold and jumped on his own submission moments later, tapping Filho with 30 seconds left in their fight. Mokaev had won ... but at what cost? Knee injuries can be career-changing. Would Muhammad be out of action for a year after sacrificing his leg to maintain his unbeaten record?
Fortunately, we can now report that the damage caused to the knee is relatively low. Mokaev shared the news on Twitter with his fans.
“Partial tear MCL, Grade 2,” he wrote. In another tweet he declared, “6-8 weeks I will be back training.”
Mokaev showed up to UFC 286 with a shoulder injury so bad he said he was unable to put his own shirts on, so it’s fair to wonder whether he’s underplaying the injury. But, multiple medical websites agree with his assessment of the injury, with grade 2 partial MCL tears only taking two-to-four weeks to heal up.
Partial tear MCL , Grade 2— Muhammad Mokaev (@muhammadmokaev) March 23, 2023
The 22-year-old fighter is already looking forward to his next Flyweight bout, and is hoping to compete in July. He’ll need to keep racking up the wins to advance from his current spot at No. 12 in the 125 pound rankings.
“The Punisher” has made it his mission to become the youngest champion in UFC history, which means he has little more than one year to beat Jon Jones, who won the Light Heavyweight title at 23.
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