Muhammad Mokaev can overcome injury to become youngest ever UFC champion admits coach Dean Garnett

Muhammad Mokaev’s ambition of becoming the youngest UFC champion in history was put into doubt through injury, though coach Dean Garnett believes the 22-year-old can still pull it off.

There are few more exciting young prospects in MMA than Mokaev. The 22-year-old has taken the UFC by storm since his first fight with the organisation in March 2022. 

The Dagestan-born Brit, who is unbeaten in 10 professional MMA bouts, is aiming to become the youngest ever UFC champion. 

Jon Jones holds the current record, having claimed the light heavyweight crown at the age of 23 and eight months.

Mokaev is just six months past his 22nd birthday, though a dislocated shoulder in late December appeared to have halted his progress.

When asked whether Mokaev could beat Jones' record, coach Dean Garnett told Planet Sport: "I wouldn't doubt him at this point and time. I think there's still hope that we might get him out in March if we can avoid surgery and can rehab his shoulder."

Since then, Mokaev announced on social media he would return from his holiday in order to go through rehab in the UK.

Last Friday, the 22-year-old tweeted: "Started my rehab in Manchester, UFC March 18th I will be ready! I'm working, I could of stayed in Thailand and have nice holiday but I'm back just to speed up my recovery to fight on London card!"

While Garnett is confident in Mokaev's ability, he has urged the UFC to give his fighter higher ranked opposition.

He added: "I've never seen anyone with that much drive so I really believe he can still do it.

"I just hope the UFC give him that opportunity given the fights he needs to do it. He can only fight who's in front of him so if he can't get higher rank opponents, how do we move him towards the championship? We need a bit back from them."

Should rehab prove successful, Mokaev could return on March 18 for UFC 286 in London.

READ MORE: HEXAGONE MMA 6: Dean Garnett focused on fitness ahead of first MMA bout in almost five-years

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