MMA star Muhammad Mokaev wanted to win Olympic gold for GB but was told by Home Office to wrestle for Russia instead – The Sun
15th November 2019

MUHAMMAD MOKAEV wants to bring Olympic gold back to Britain – but claims he was told by the home office to represent Russia instead.

And now the two-time junior Bantamweight world champ could be battling for Bahrain!

The 19-year-old MMA star moved from Dagestan to Manchester with his family aged 12, having “just a bag full of clothes and speaking no English”.

He is now a part of Team KHK, founded under the patronage Bahrain’s Highness Khalid bin Hamad Al Khalifa, but still proudly represents England.

And he is doing his adopted nation proud as he secured back-to-back IMMAF-WMMA world titles on Thursday.

His latest triumph cemented his place as the best pound-for-pounder junior MMA fighter on the planet – but it’s another gold medal he has his eyes on next.

There is currently a huge push from the MMA world to get the sport as part of the Olympic Games.

And “The Punisher” did not hold back when quizzed about it following his unanimous decision victory over Japan’s Reo Yamaguchi on Thursday.

“One hundred per cent MMA should be in the Olympics,” he told Sun Sport.

“There are sports like table tennis, these games are boring and people want to see something new.

“I know at the Olympics they changes games every four or eight years, get rid of judo and boxing – its MMA people want to see.”

Mokaev then dropped the bombshell he has already attempted to be part of Team GB at Tokyo 2020 – only to be snubbed by the government’s red tape.

He explained: “I asked to represent England in 2020 at the Olympics. I emailed the home office, but they replied saying if I wanted to compete in the Olympics then go back to Russia.

“This is very disrespectful for me.

“I’m the only guy who has won four fights to win gold for England in Bahrain, last time I won four fights, European Championships I won four fights, I’m a jiu-jitsu and wrestling champion. So how they can say this is very disappointing.

“Now I represent Team KHK, while still representing England.

“No matter what the home office say, my loyalty will still stay with England.”

But what happens if Team GB come back and ask him to compete in the future?

“In three days my passport could be ready for Bahrain and I could compete for them,” he added.

“But my mentality is England but most people think I’m wrong. I just represent Team KHK.”

Sun Sport understands that Mokaev would need to apply with the support GB Wrestling or the appropriate home nation wrestling NGB.

And if he was eligible through NGB, the grappler would then be OK to be on Team GB once hitting the qualification status.

Watch the IMMAF-WMMA Senior World Championship Finals live on Sun Sport this Saturday.

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