UFC flyweight prospect Muhammad Mokaev kept his undefeated record intact by submitting Malcolm Gordon in a preliminary bout at UFC 280.
A game Gordon came out swinging, but Mokaev was able to take control of the bout's tempo by landing a flying knee and immediately taking his opponent down. From there, the young Russian-born Brit connected with a few elbows and attempted to lock in a guillotine choke on three separate instances. Gordon was able to survive, but the round ended with Mokaev on top.
Gordon showed a sense of urgency in round two by starting with some forward pressure. He landed a clean right hand, which served as a reminder for Mokaev to shoot for a takedown. Once he got back to a dominant position, Mokaev pounded Gordon with some short punches to the head and body.
He also attempted to end the fight with a D'Arce choke but to no avail. With 10 seconds remaining in the frame, Gordon was able to scramble out and take Mokaev's back, but time expired just as he tried to lock in a rear-naked choke.
Gordon came charging forward to open the third round. However, the 22-year-old Mokaev easily avoided the shots and scored another takedown. Mokaev finally found the opening he was looking for with just seconds remaining in the fight. He caught Gordon in an armbar, forcing him to tap out at the 4:26 mark of the third round.
Muhammad Mokaev channels Conor McGregor in UFC 280 post-fight interview
Mokaev admitted that he underestimated his opponent's ground game but was confident in his own skills. The 9-0 UFC flyweight said:
"To be honest, I underestimated this guy. I can't do this anymore when [there's] 10 years in difference. But I know I was comfortable in the ground everywhere. This guy is a black belt, I just got my purple belt. I don't give a f*** what belt he has."
He then convinced UFC president Dana White to hand him the $50,000 Performance of the Night bonus by uttering a phrase made famous by McGregor:
"Hundred percent I deserve top-15. Uncle Dana [White], 50Gs baby!"
Check out Muhammad Mokaev's post-fight interview below: