The opening bout of the UFC 286 prelims between Muhammad Mokaev and Jafel Filho was delayed after the lights shut out in the O2 Arena, London. The famous venue was plunged into darkness as the fighters were left scratching their heads.
Russian-born Brit Mokaev and Brazil’s Filho kicked off the UFC 286 prelims in a flyweight encounter but the fight itself wasn’t the main talking point. After Bruce Buffer had introduced the fighters to the packed-out British crowd, the lights went out in the arena to chants of ‘Olay,Olay, Olay’.
After a minute of complete darkness, the lights were switched back on as Mokaev and Filho threw down in an entertaining back and forth. From the off, the highly rated 22-year-old was in complete control for the most part, as he thoroughly out-grappled his adversary.
But it wasn’t all plain sailing. In the third round, Mokaev took his eye off the ball and found himself locked up in a nasty knee bar at the death.
However, the talented youngster fought himself out of the sticky situation and went on to submit his adversary one minute later via a rear naked choke. Speaking after the fight, Mokaev, who has ambitions of becoming the youngster UFC champion of all time, said: “I came in here with an injured shoulder and I wanted to put on a performance for the English fans around the world.
“Thank you for this all of you. To be honest I need to finish this is my twelfth fight and fourth inside the UFC Octagon. I am 22 years old and I will be ranked No10 after this fight. I don’t know who besides Jon Jones has done this?”
Impressed by the heart on display from Mokaev, British UFC heavyweight contender Tom Aspinall added: “Wow! What did I tell you. This guy is different to the rest.
“The stuff that this guy has been through in his personal life, he’s been through so much adversity. The guy isn’t going to give up to something like that. His mental strength, his physical strength, 99 per cent of people would have definitely tapped to that technique.”