It is the oldest tale ever told; when one does whatever they can and sacrifices everything to stay around their true passion, eventually the talent is noticed, and finally, success comes.
This is the same story of Muhammad Mokaev.
“I started from nothing”, Mokaev said. “I used to work, hop on a train or bus to a different city just to have some sort of training. I used to clean the mats in exchange of a gym membership, because I couldn’t afford it. For almost four years, that was my life: long trips, reaching home at 11-12 PM, and getting little to no sleep at all”.
Inspired by his country’s most prominent MMA fighter Michael Bisping, Mokaev who started with wrestling and Brazilian jiu-jitsu, decided to make a transition to Mixed Martial Arts. His results inside and outside the gym, the same gyms he used to clean to be able to attend free classes, got him recognition and changed the course of his story.
“I started getting recognized by companies and they started supporting me”, he said. “Suddenly I was able to pay for my rent, food, and cover my training camps expenses. Life is definitely not as hard as it used to be but the hunger is exactly the same. I’m a full-time professional fighter, I train twice or three times a day, I sleep well, I eat healthy, and I’m able to travel around the world, meet new people, and gather experience”.
Before signing with BRAVE Combat Federation, Mokaev was already making waves in the amateur scene, not only in his home country but worldwide. Between 2015 and 2020, “The Punisher” built a record of 23 wins and no losses.
The perfect amateur run was crowned with two moments that he described as the highlights of his career so far: becoming a two-time IMMAF World Champion. “The European championships and especially the World Championships in Bahrain are, by far, the most important moments I had so far. But definitely not the last ones”, he guaranteed.
Now a member of the Flyweight division of the promotion founded by His Highness Sheikh Khaled, BRAVE Combat Federation, “The Punisher” has the chance to fulfill his destiny and write yet another brilliant chapter of his saga.
“I do what I do for my family, I don’t want for them to go through the same kind of struggles that I had in my time. Also, I want to set up a charity foundation under my family name, so my legacy will still be around when I’m gone. But before all that I have to earn my spot among the best and to do so, I will become the Flyweight world champion at BRAVE CF”.
Roberto Villa is the CEO, Founder, Executive Writer, Senior Editor of FightBook MMA. Has a passion for Combat Sports and also a podcast host for Sitting Ringside. He’s also a former MMA fighter and Kickboxer.
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