Meet Muhammad Mokaev, who like Khabib Nurmagomedov hails from Dagestan and is one other MMA prodigy.
The 20-year-old got here to the UK as a refugee eight years in the past and, some days, had as little as £5 a day between him and his father for meals.
Nevertheless, he’s now 4-Zero as knowledgeable MMA star after going 22-Zero as an beginner, the Russian seems set to make his UFC debut in 2021.
Mokaev made the journey throughout mainland Europe from his homeland in a automobile together with his father after the dying of his mom in 2012.
After getting engaged in Istanbul simply earlier than Christmas, Mokaev informed CNN Sport that followers shall be seeing him compete within the Final Preventing Championship as quickly as ‘subsequent yr’.
Khabib is likely one of the most well-known MMA fighters on the planet and after going 29-Zero by beating Justin Gaethje final yr, the UFC light-weight champion walked away from the game.
The Eagle is famed for his insane conditioning and unstoppable grappling expertise, and Mokaev is of the identical mould.
The teenager explains that’s simply the tradition in Dagestan.
“[At] faculty, both you go to coaching, both you go and sit exterior and discuss life,” he informed CNN.
“Like you may sit, sit, after which there’s anyone who begins combating, perhaps two or three fights in a single circle. As a result of individuals [have] obtained nothing to do.
“At the moment, I’d go to coach and are available again house. We will go to coaching; we will go to highschool. Typically you may miss classes in class to go to coaching.
“It’s such as you’d name the trainer and say: ‘I’m caught in coaching, I can’t come at present.’ And she or he’d say, ‘OK.’ That’s the way it works.”
Not talking a phrase of English, Mokaev and his father, Murad made their means throughout Europe to the UK and settled in Liverpool earlier than ultimately being given a home in Wigan.
“I got here to UK as a refugee and I used to be getting like £5 a day. Me and my father on £5 a day, it’s like perhaps $6-7, and it’s like you must cut up this for meals and garments and web to your cellphone. It’s not sufficient. I used to be hungry.”
Mokaev discovered wrestling and MMA in native golf equipment rising up within the UK and is now one of many most-exciting prospects within the sport.
Whereas the comparisons to Khabib are apparent, Mokaev insists they’re a little bit totally different.
“Me and Khabib are totally different individuals, I believe,” he added. “Once I fought in amateurs, individuals knew me, like my charisma is totally different to Khabib’s.
“My charisma is totally different [than] Khabib’s as a result of individuals came upon about Khabib perhaps when he was on a like a 26-fight profitable streak, perhaps 27.
“Folks knew about me after I was [on] like my third beginner combat. The distinction after I get to that stage, you will notice the distinction.
“I imagine I shall be [the greatest of all time].”