UFC light heavyweight Alonzo Menifield likes to have as much information as possible about his opponents, but the man that will be standing across the cage from him on Saturday is a bit of a mystery.
At UFC Fight Night 207, Menifield (11-3 MMA, 4-3 UFC) takes on Ukraine’s Askar Mozharov, who will be making his UFC debut. Through his seven previous UFC bouts, Menifield has not fought an opponent like Mozharov (19-12 MMA per Tapology, 0-0 UFC), who enters with a number of questions surrounding his career. Specifically, Mozharov’s professional record has been called into question after a number of changes were to MMA databases ahead of Saturday’s bout.
While Mozharov attempted to explain the issues, Menifield finds the whole situation strange.
“It’s preposterous,” Menifield told reporters, including MMA Junkie, at Wednesday’s media day. “Madness. It’s hard, I don’t know what to think. So, I don’t want to insult him, but I’m like, are you for real about fighting or are you not? I’m curious to see how he’ll fight Saturday. When you’re in there, there’s no more posing. This is what it is, it’s a fight, and this is the highest level. So, we’ll see.”
Beyond the questions surrounding his professional fighting record, there also seems to be a lack of video of Mozharov’s fights available, according to Menifield. While he doesn’t necessarily rely on fight footage to have success inside the cage, it is a tool the former professional football player would like to use to fully prepare.
“I played linebacker, so we always study film, but this guy is like invisible on the internet,” Menifield said. “Good job with his team for making him a secret. … I found a little bit, so I was able to pick up something from him, so we’ll see it Saturday night.”
Entering his first fight of 2022, Menifield will look to rebound from a unanimous decision loss against William Knight in December which snapped a two-fight streak. The Dana White’s Contender Series veteran burst on the scene in 2019 with back-to-back first-round knockouts and has also shown off some slick submission skills by catching Fabio Cherant in a Von Flue choke. Considering he isn’t quite sure what Mozharov will bring on Saturday, Menifield will approach the fight with an open mind, and is confident he will leave with his hand raised.
“I guess you just gotta have the MMA mindset,” Menifield said. “Just mix it up when they’re unknown like this. So, yeah, I take it wherever the fight goes, I’ll take it. My plan is to dominate, period.”