Muhammad Mokaev reveals what Wayne Rooney messaged him on Instagram

  • Tom Ward

Muhammad Mokaev was already back in training the following Monday after he beat Cody Durden on his UFC debut.

The two-time IMMAF world champion, 21, is currently preparing to face former LFA flyweight champ Charles Johnson at UFC Fight Night 208 in London, England on July 23.

Known as ‘The Punisher’, KHK MMA‘s Mokaev is widely regarded as one of the best prospects in the UFC’s flyweight division, and has even caught the eye of Anthony Joshua and Wayne Rooney.

Such was his level of dominance, Mokaev says it was tough to find an opponent willing to share the Octagon with him afterwards.

“Tim Elliott didn’t accept,” he exclusively told “Malcolm Gordon didn’t accept. Manel Kape didn’t accept.

“Amir Albazi is busy, he’s got somebody else, so I think I’m going to have to wait for a bit until they figure it all out.

“But right now I’ve got Johnson to focus on so he’s getting all of my attention at the moment.

“But after that, we’ll see what’s next.”

Muhammad Mokaev is a fan of Manchester United

As we mentioned earlier, it’s not just the UFC brass who have begun to take notice of the young Dagestani wrestler.

Mokaev revealed: “Wayne Rooney messaged me before the fight. It was actually like one month before the fight. And then he congratulated me after the fight as well.

“He’s reached out to me a few times actually, just saying he hopes I do well in my career.

“And then Anthony Joshua said I’m the future GOAT, so it’s nice to have their support.”

Mokaev, a keen footballer during his childhood, revealed he was a fan of Anzhi Makhachkala growing up in the mountain regions of Dagestan.

1 of 20
Jens Pulver

Can you get 20/20 on our random UFC fighters quiz? We doubt it…

But he decided to switch allegiances after he officially became a British citizen in 2021.

He admitted: “I’m a big fan of football, I used to play it all the time growing up.

“Not so much now because I mainly focus on my training.

“I used to support Anzhi Makhachkala. If you know this team, they’re from Dagestan, they actually used to be pretty good. But their money has dried up so they’ve dropped down a bit in the league.

“But now I’m in the UK, I support my local team Manchester United, but my friend plays for Manchester City so it can get a little bit awkward at times!”

READ MORE: Israel Adesanya’s coach claims the UFC are trying to stop Alex Pereira from being ‘exposed’

MORE: Rafael Fiziev was responsible for one of the coolest moves in UFC history against Marc Diakiese

News Now - Sport News