Muhammad Mokaev claimed a dominant but gruelling UFC London win over flyweight rival Charles Johnson on Saturday evening as Paddy Pimblett, Molly McCann and Tom Aspinall waited in the wings.
Charles Johnson came into the bout on the back of 10 wins from 12 MMA bouts and four consecutive LFA victories to earn his fight shot at UFC glory as the promotion returned to the UK.
Mokaev, who beat Cody Durden by guillotine choke to open the first UFC London of the year in March, had early joy but ended the fight frustrated against a resistant Johnson, despite moving to 7-0.
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Mokaev, who fights out of Manchester by way of Dagestan, was never looking for a slow rise into the UFC rankings having put together a perfect amateur career of 22 victories.
Mokaev told Daily Star Sport ahead of his UFC debut on the first London card of the year that he wanted to break the record of Jon Jones to become the youngest champion in the history of the promotion.
He said of his title dream: "I think maximum three or four fights because people want to see this. And if people want to see this, UFC will help me with it.
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"I just have to win the fights, and win the fights nice, and then I'm there.
Earlier on the night, Nicolas Dalby beat Claudio Silva by unanimous decision with Victoria Leonardo securing victory over Mandy Bohm by the same method.
Up next was the Black Country Banger Jai Herbert, who took on Canadian Kyle Nelson and claimed a unanimous decision victory.
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