Russian-born UFC star brands fellow fighter ‘animal’ after antics


Muhammad Mokaev has no time for Paddy Pimblett’s antics

Paddy Pimblett likely gained a legion of new fans following his impressive second-round submission of the dangerous Jordan Leavitt during the UFC return to London last weekend, but his fellow Briton Muhammad Mokaev certainly doesn’t seem to be among them.

Liverpool native Pimblett underscored his growing reputation when he made good on his word to become the first man to finish American fighter Leavitt in his career, after which he launched into a stirring speech about the ravages that mental health problems can have on men – a sorrowful proclamation delivered just days after a close friend of his tragically took his own life.

Pimblett’s performance and post-fight comments, coupled with his outspoken and fun-loving attitude, have marked the 27-year-old out as one of the UFC’s rising stars – but the undefeated Dagestan-born Mokaev says that Pimblett is a poor role model for youngsters to look up to.

There’s so many guys that don’t get a lot of media attention that should get it,” Mokaev, 21, said following his hard-fought win against Charles Johnson on the same card.

Example, Arnold Allen. It’s Leon Edwards. It’s Tom Aspinall. Nathaniel Wood. These guys are amazing, good examples. I don’t disrespect the media, but you give a bullsh*t guy like Paddy Pimblett attention.

These guys never reach the top 15. Like, realistically, [if you understand MMA] he’ll never reach it. I don’t think he’s a great role model for young guys. Please follow Tom Aspinall, Arnold Allen, Leon Edwards, real men inside the cage and outside the cage. I’m proud to be on the same card as a man like Tom Aspinall.”

The antipathy between the two fighters dates back to a 2018 argument in which Pimblett was heavily critical of adopted Englishman Mokaev’s decision to carry the UK flag to the cage ahead of his fights.

You’re not from here you idiot,” wrote Pimblett in a heated social media exchange, also referring Mokaev as a “fraud.”

You’re racist!” Mokaev responded. “I represent this country, what you gonna do about it?

Pimblett responded once more, saying that Mokaev should not be permitted to represent the United Kingdom if he wasn’t born there.

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Pimblett mooned the media in a message to critics. © Twitter BT Sport
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The back-and-forth between the pair once again came to a head on Saturday night, with Mokaev also hitting out at Pimblett for baring his backside to the media at Friday’s weigh-ins.

This guy pulls his pants down,” Mokaev said.

A man doesn’t do this. Women don’t do this stuff. Pulls his pants down, get fat, drink beer, like animal. Men in Liverpool, I know real Scouse people, they don’t do stuff like this.

“This guy is just too much. I’m not a hater, I just want to see a newer generation follow real men. If you talk about UK guys, there’s Tom Aspinall. There’s Arnold Allen. Leon Edwards. Men of the world, of what they’re doing, they will back you up.

Not this guy, walk behind security when he sees a camera then he’s like a real guy, but when there’s no camera he’s hiding. I see this. I know this energy. I’m not some kid like, ‘Everybody push me to the cage, go fight please.’ I grew up crazy too.”

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