Muhammad Mokaev put on an impressive performance at UFC 286 but after winning his fight against Jafel Filho, he was plagued by accusations that he actually used a fake tap to escape a submission attempt. Mokaev ended up winning the fight by submission and might have even earned a ‘Performance of the Night’ bonus if not for the fact that Gunnar Nelson displayed incredible grappling in a submission win of his own later on in the night. This win took Mokaev’s professional record to 10-0 (1) and was his fourth straight win in the UFC, extending a streak of dominant performances that started back when he made his debut at the beginning of 2022.
One of the biggest immediate talking points from the fight was the fact that Mokaev gutted it out through a brutal kneebar attempt from Filho, but within hours of the fight happening there was another matter being discussed. Eagle-eyed viewers thought that they saw Mokaev tapping out to a guillotine attempt by Filho earlier in the fight, and accusations started to fly. Filho was quick to comment on the subject and gave a statement to MMAFighting:
“[Mokaev tapped] at least three times. I felt him tapping on my back like he was hiding, with malice. There was another situation I went for the guillotine and then attacked his injured shoulder, he tapped and I loosened it up a little bit. I was looking at the referee the entire time. The kneebar, I felt him tapping with his foot and the referee asked him, ‘Tap?’ I loosened it, and he was able to twist his knee a little bit.”
“Listen, Ariel, if I didn’t tap to my knee, do you think I would tap to—what he said? Guillotine, right? Guillotine wasn’t even locked. How the hell people would actually believe I would tap to this guillotine that can’t put me to sleep? Basically, his foot was in my boxers, and he said ‘Sorry.’ He said ‘Sorry, sorry.’ He stopped and I said, ‘All good. All good. Let’s go.’ That’s what I said. I said, ‘Let’s go!’ C’mon Ariel, why I would tap in position? On the video, actually, there was position that there is nothing [to tap to]. He said, ‘I attacked his shoulder.’ That’s why I was ground-and-pounding with that same shoulder.”
The full interview with Muhammad Mokaev on a recent edition of the MMA Hour where he discusses the fake tap he was accused of was uploaded to the official YouTube channel of MMAFighting on SBN: