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Editor's Note: The article has been updated at 12:45 a.m. on June 2 after Fight Finder staff unearthed another unlisted loss on the fighter's record.
”Well I was there and I saw what you did, I saw it with my own two eyes. So you can wipe off that grin, I know where you’ve been, it’s all been a pack of lies.” - Phil Collins, “In the Air Tonight”
When FF-Files pieces crop up, especially the ones pointing out fraud, those instances tend to be small-scale infractions for minor promotions that will have little to no bearing on the MMA community as a whole. Whether it’s from lousy “doctor’s notes,” silly forged papers or wholly imaginary events, the result is usually the same: We catch you, we tell you no, you beg us to reconsider and then you lash out at the staff. On rare occasions, someone with name recognition in the sport reaches out to pull something. When rejected, most have the good sense to back off because they have a lot to risk. In this specific, incredible example, this upcoming Ultimate Fighting Championship newcomer has been trying for years to get one over on the record keepers, and it’s high time he accounts for his actions.
The man goes by many names: Artur Sadkov, Artur Shadkov and Arthur Shadakov started as three initially causing confusion due to regional transliteration. Fight Finder administrators from the past had encountered him before, from somewhere in Eastern Europe – later confirmed to be Odessa, Ukraine, even though he claimed Minsk, Belarus, in the past – and his first foray into MMA did not go well. After starting his career with three straight first-round submission losses, the man once known as “Arthur Shadakov” began cherry picking, recording seven straight victories on the Ukrainian circuit, with none of those opponents having won a pro fight. When encountering opponents with any kind of pulse, this fighter fell to pieces within the first round, and after that streak he lost five of his next seven. Around that time, this fighter decided to legally change his name to Askar Mozharov and become the man who he represents himself as today.
It is not a new concept for a pro fighter to change their name and look to start over, hoping to wipe their career clean and hustle recordkeeping bodies. Whether for legitimate reasons like something familial, or for illegitimate purposes like creating an alternate identity for their career, it has been known to happen. Sherdog never turned a blind eye to his transformation, physically and by nomenclature, and at the beginning of 2017, Fight Finder staff added a note on Mozharov’s public profile of his name change. What this note did not illustrate was the internal deliberation on this matter, as he had not simply changed his name for the sake of change. This fighter had attempted to offload losses by claiming it was another person with another name suffering those defeats, thereby gaming the system. For the next five years, Mozharov tried to manipulate his record any way he could.
Mozharov, or his representatives, went on a campaign to rewrite history. Many attempts came in from questionable entities claiming to be officials, and telling the Fight Finder team that he did not compete and therefore could not have lost. In one example, a person claiming to be a representative of the Full Metal Dojo organization – doing so from a .ru email address despite FMD operating out of Thailand and the United States – wrote:
In my tournament they added a fight that was not there. Please clean.
Marcelo Tenorio – Askar Mozharov
This battle was not, please delete.
Sincerely, Full Metal Dojo promoter, Jormur Bankonkong.”
You can see the above video, the fight was rather than “was not.” Just as there was no Pepe Sylvia or Keyser Soze, there never has been a promoter at FMD named Jormur Bankonkong. As far as fraud goes, it’s turtles all the way down. Some would cut their losses, pick themselves up and try to go legit. Not Mozharov and his squad.
Pictured: One of the worst fake posters we’ve ever received.
For the span of several months, Mozharov or someone close to him targeted another loss on his record, one in 2016 to a fighter named Fan Rong at a Chinese event called The Legend King Championship. That night, Mozharov succumbed to a rear-naked choke in 79 seconds, putting him on a losing streak. Years later, a person from a Russian email address – this detail is important, not to single out Russians this time but because those located in China would not likely be able to use Russian addresses due to government restrictions – tried to claim that Mozharov did not fight, and in his stead came a hapless scapegoat named Hasan Atagayev. The poster shown above was the proof, along with a short video of someone getting pummeled.
The poster was an obvious fake, not just because of the English language written on a Chinese bout poster, but…just look at it. That was honestly submitted without a second thought, and that submitter doubled down by claiming to be the Legend King organizer. If they had done their homework, they might have utilized the actual logo from the Legend King promotion, as their fake “LKC” graphic left plenty to be desired. Little did they know, Fight Finder staff had obtained a copy of the actual poster of the event, which displayed its real logo along with a small matchup image of Rong vs. Mozharov showing. Also, there was the small issue of our team reviewing the actual video of the fight itself, which we can assure you is quite real.
To simply write, “Askar Mozharov and his representatives have attempted to commit fraud to Sherdog Fight Finder on multiple occasions, knowingly submitting false information” on his profile would do a disservice to fighters like Belek Aliev and Abdel Fatah Toha that have been publicly flagged in the past. Fictionalizing four-plus wins, and maliciously attempting to remove well over four defeats, is well beyond the “three strikes” approach the Fight Finder staff carries into reviews.
Where did the four nonexistent wins come from that gave him a 25-7 record until recently corrected? We can only hypothesize as to how they were admitted, but our hypotheses are: One bout was a duplicate of a knockout he scored that was inadvertently added twice, two others came from misleading submissions of a fictional “Mung Mung Championship” organization that masqueraded using the same initials as legit league Mars Martial Championship, and the fourth was listed from a Ukrainian venue that had been permanently closed prior to the “event” taking place. Those were not the only fake wins submitted before, as others like a bout with Pavel Katrunov that appeared to be a custom rules match declared a draw, or one from “Great Fight Championship” that never actually happened, were barred at the gate. As for the missing losses? The transitional videos above can fill you in. After this article came out, the incredible Fight Finder staff found another loss on his record that was attributed to another man, only for video footage to clearly display it was Mozharov tapping to a guillotine choke that night in 2016 instead of Islam Adakov.
Since news of Mozharov’s match with Alonzo Menifield broke, others have contacted Sherdog Fight Finder to further alter his pro record. None has ever provided actual documentation or verification of these so-called missing fights from the man, and they continue to lie as if it was second nature. On May 24, less than two weeks before his UFC fight, Mozharov himself tracked down a Fight Finder staff member on their private Facebook page, demanding the fight result against Rong be removed. If you’re a fighter, manager or teammate, don’t do this. Don’t ever do this. If you do, an FF-Files article like this will likely be erected in your honor.
One knucklehead named Sergey Alekseev, however, did spill the proverbial tea on Mozharov’s career in April, with an admission that may shed light on details that Mozharov prefers stay very dark.
“UFC copied information from you. That is the problem. That while the fighter has not made a start in the UFC, his record must be correct. He won 25 victories. All video recordings, photos and information are available for each fight. He has 25 victories on Tapology. And you have 21 wins. I ask you to contribute these 4 wins to Sherdog. As for Fan Rong, he never fought him. Someone specially added him to the record. After all, Askar used to be negligent about fights. He has several defeats at the start, which he generally lost on purpose, being a teenager, because he needed money. Now he has gained a good level, he has become very strong. And he should show a spectacle in the UFC. Please give me a chance.”
Askar Mozharov (21-12, and not 25-7) will make his UFC debut on June 4 at UFC Fight Night 207, where he will face Alonzo Menifield (11-3) at light heavyweight inside of the UFC Apex.
If you are a pro fighter or manager trying to pull even a fraction of what Mozharov or his team tried, we can’t stress enough how bad of an idea that is. Otherwise, we would happy to receive your Fight Finder-related inquiries, so please send them to [email protected].
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