UFC prospect Muhammad Mokaev returned to the octagon last night at UFC 286 against Jafel Filho. While the Dagestani went on to win the bout via submission in the third-round, he found himself in a very dangerous position after he was caught in a deep kneebar.
However, the entire limelight seems to have been taken away from the 22-year-old after footage of him seemingly tapping out went viral on the internet. In the very first round of the fight, Mokaev was in top position and as he grappled with Jafel Filho, he appeared to tap.
Watch the video below:
The video has raised a lot of eyebrows, with some suggesting that Muhammad Mokaev was saved as he was in the referee's blind spot. However, it is worth noting that during that time, Mokaev did not seem to be caught in a submission and it is very unlikely that he would tap when seemingly dominating from being on top.
Moreover, in round three of the fight, Muhammad Mokaev showed incredible resilience as he avoided tapping out to a devastating kneebar, making it very unlikely for him to have tapped out to nothing in the first round.
Muhammad Mokaev speaks about the kneebar attempt by Rafel Filho
As mentioned earlier, Muhammad Mokaev further extended his winning run after beating Rafel Filho. However, the victory didn't come easily as he was caught in a dangerous kneebar in the third and final round of the fight.
Speaking about the submission attempt at the UFC 286 post-fight press conference. 'The Punisher' suggested that Filho's failure to complete the submission gave him confidence and admitted that he was willing to suffer a knee-break in order to secure the win.
While revealing that he heard multiple cracks in his knee, Muhammad Mokaev said:
"I'm flexible. There were like three-four cracks. And [Rafel Filho] thought I was gonna tap, so he relaxed a little bit. He look at me and then Herb Dean say, 'He didn't tap.'... And then he re-joined the grip, like a choke position, but even stronger... In my head, I was waiting until my knee rips. In my head, I thought like it's nearly coming out and then when I stand on the knee, I'm like, 'My knee gone.' I grab him. In my head, I was talking like, 'I broke his heart. He didn't finish me in a position where he's like a black-belt... I broke him."
Check out Mokaev's comments below: