Alex Perez vs Muhammad Mokaev prediction | UFC Fight Night 238 1

Former title challenger Alex Perez returns to the octagon this weekend to face rising star Muhammad Mokaev.

Perez, an All-American wrestler from California, has had some of the worst luck in the flyweight division. After defeating Jussier Formiga in June 2020, Perez would go on to lose a title bid against then-champion Deiveson Figueiredo the following November. This was followed by six canceled matchups with Matt Schnell and Askar Askarov. When Perez finally did return against Alexandre Pantoja in 2022, he would lose and then see another three canceled bouts before booking Mokaev.

Although circumstances have kept Perez from the cage, the fact remains he is just two fights removed from a title fight, and was once very much in the same prospect seat that Mokaev finds himself in now. Although evidently elite talent, Perez’s wins have largely come from the previous generation of contenders, and it will be telling as he steps up to fight Mokaev, who many fans believe to be the future of the division. For Mokaev, beating Perez would mean back-to back wins over former title challengers as he last defeated Tim Elliot in October.

Betting Odds

Muhammad Mokaev finds himself a hefty favourite in this matchup at -340.

  • Alex Perez: +250 (BetUS)
  • Muhammad Mokaev: -340 (BetUS)

Fight Breakdown

Alex Perez is a boxer-wrestler with excellent low kicks. He stands with a high guard and has a lot of whip to his punches. He typically starts his fight very quickly, immediately looking to take the centre of the octagon and establish a high output. He sets up his low kicks well with his boxing, and his left hook is of particular danger as he is especially accurate with it.

Although his striking and volume have become a large part of his game, his bread and butter is his wrestling background. Perez was an All-American in college and also coached the well-known Selma High School program in California. He has a wide range of takedowns he likes, and isn’t predictable in which particular shots he likes, watch for solid single leg entries to angle changes, high body lock slams, double legs etc. Once he does get his opponents down he is pretty confident in sitting inside the guard or inside half guard and landing ground and pound, which is the area I believe he shines the most. Inside the guard he always looks to control the wrist first before throwing combinations to both the head and body from a postured position, and will go back to controlling the wrist first if he loses it. From half guard he has tremendous hammer fists as well.

Muhammad Mokaev, likewise is a wrestler first, however on the feet he does have dangerous weapons. Unlike Perez’s pressure boxing style, Mokaev’s best tools are his kicks. He uses range well, throwing out kicks to the head and body from far away and even leaping in with kicks and flying knees to close the gap. In terms of wrestling Mokaev is one of the best. He will look to shoot singles with the head on the outside so that he can either transition to a double, high crotch or take the back. Mokaev is most dangerous when he does that latter, riding back control very easily and staying higher than his opponents to maintain control with the fence.

In this matchup both men are going to want to be the aggressor. For Perez especially, much of his style depends on his offense is his best defense, forcing his opponents to fight to go backward and to have to react to him in the bottom position. When Perez has been aught, especially in submissions, is when his opponents match his pace, and they set him up in a scramble by being equally as aggressive. Mokaev, although undefeated, does seem to be put in close submission attempts in quite a few of his fights, but this also speaks to his patience and composure, as he has always had a technical answer to getting out and getting back in control.


I think both men are going come out with very aggressive wrestling. Up to this point, I think Mokaev should look to establish hard kicks from the outside and make it difficult for Perez to get inside, as well as force Perez to raise the guard and block on the forearms.

For Perez he needs to cut off the cage and box his way in behind his jab, both men can set up their takedowns with their strikes and whoever can do so first and get top control has a huge advantage early. expect a lot of exciting wrestling scrambles, but I do believe that Mokaev does have a better bottom game to do damage control if he does end up there.

In general, I think he has a wider range of submissions, and I believe in top control, he has better submission awareness. This is why even though he is a large favorite, it’s still a good value.

Pick: Muhammad Mokaev to win (-340 at BetUS)

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