“Charles Johnson is a good striker,” Mokaev said. “I think a cross country runner, but we’re not running. Simple fighter. Nothing special about him. He doesn’t have a ground game.”

Backing up his words means another impressive performance could be on the way once again in London. He opened a memorable night in The O2 Arena and got the already-rowdy crowd on its feet in less than a minute’s worth of work to secure that key debut win. 

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With Brandon Moreno and Kai Kara-France fighting with an interim belt on the line at UFC 277 on July 30 and presumably a unification bout with Deiveson Figueiredo sometime after that, Mokaev knows he has some time to work to distinguish himself in the ever-growing pack of 125-pound prospects. Naturally, Mokaev feels confident in his chances and already has a timetable in mind for UFC gold.

“I believe I will fight for the belt (next year),” he said. “If I’m active after this, I will.”