Muhammad Mokaev is still undefeated, but it wasn’t easy.
The 22-year-old flyweight wunderkind picked up a late armbar submission win over a gritty Malcolm Gordon on the UFC 280 preliminary card Saturday in Abu Dhabi to improve to 8-0 as a pro and 3-0 inside the octagon.
Watch Mokaev’s last-minute finish above.
Mokaev’s wrestling was on full display in the near-15 minute contest as he aggressively went for takedowns after a wild start on the feet. The more experienced Gordon defended well off of his back, taking little damage even as Mokaev controlled him against the fence. While Mokaev appeared to be up on the cards, Gordon was no slouch on the ground himself, taking Mokaev’s back at the end of Round 2 and doing the same in Round 3.
However, Mokaev’s ground game proved to be superior and with time ticking down in the fight, he threw up an armbar from bottom position that earned the tap 4:26 into the third round.
Gordon (14-6) sees a two-fight win streak snapped as he falls to 2-3 in the UFC.