Israel Adesanya gave his take on one fight that has crept under the radar at this weekend’s UFC 294 card on October 21st, 2023.
The event will be headlined by Islam Makhachev vs. Alexander Volkanovski in what will be a rematch of the pair’s first bout in February at UFC 284. During the course of that bout, Makhachev walked out victorious via a unanimous decision to maintain his lightweight title. While the result did divide the MMA community, with some believing that Volkanovski had done enough to grab the win, the rematch has also thrown up an intriguing dynamic. Volkanovski took the bout on less than two weeks’ notice following Charles Oliveira’s withdrawal with an injury.
And yet, there was a preliminary fight that had gotten Adesanya’s attention. The ex-UFC middleweight champion was intrigued by the match-up between Muhammad Mokaev and Tim Elliott. The former is an up-and-coming prospect, while Elliot remains a UFC veteran. As of now, Mokaev remains undefeated with a 10-0, which includes four UFC wins. As for Elliot, the MMA fighter is on a two-fight-win streak. With that being said, Adesanya expected a competitive encounter.
“Yes, yes, this is it. Sleeper fight… Tim Elliott’s no slouch. Tim Elliott’s a veteran. You’ve gotta watch his fight with ‘Mighty Mouse.’ That’s one of my favorite fights of his. Went scramble for scramble, if I recall. He matched ‘Mighty Mouse,’ or maybe just a step behind,” Adesanya said. “He’s that guy, he’s game, I like his style, I like the fact he doesn’t care. He fights recklessly, but also with pure technique.
“Mokaev, this guy is, to be honest, a future champ,” Adesanya continued. “Tim (Simpson), my manager, always said, ‘Next champion.’ After seeing the way he fights, the way he carries himself, and just who he is, I can say that as well. I can say that I see him holding the belt sometime down the line… That’s my sleeper fight,” Adesanya
Social Media Reaction
125 champ soon come🇬🇧
— Jack Robinson (@RobboRUFC) October 18, 2023
Let’s go future champ!! Big win!!
— 鐵工所 (@Ironworks_gnt) October 18, 2023
The best flyweight in the world ..
— Doctor MMA 🇵🇸 (@FightDoctor_) October 18, 2023