Rafael Fiziev really wants to prove he’s the toughest Rafael in the world, but before he does that, he has an actual fighter he wants to face first.
Fiziev can now at least claim that he’s the best Rafael in the UFC after earning a TKO victory over Rafael dos Anjos at UFC Vegas 58 last night. The fight was closely contested for four rounds, with Fiziev’s takedown defense coming up strong against a grappling onslaught from dos Anjos.
Then just 18 seconds into the final round, Fiziev finally let his hands go and landed huge right that sent dos Anjos sprawling to the canvas, and the Azerbaijani finished off the job with a heavy follow-up shot. It was Fiziev’s sixth successive win, and he now looks set to surge further in the lightweight rankings and take on the division’s best.
Rafael Fiziev Names The Lightweight He Wants To Face Next
It’s not often a UFC fighter will call out champions from other sports, but when asked who he’d like to face next in his Octagon interview, Fiziev had one name in mind—his other namesake, tennis star Rafael Nadal.
Asserting Raphael supremacy is clearly very important to Fiziev, but there’s one man with whom he doesn’t share a name, but does a profession, who he’d like to face as well. When prompted to name an opponent at the UFC Vegas 58 post-fight press conference, the 29-year-old this time made a serious callout.
“I want to fight with [Justin] Gaethje if he…like Nadal is funny and all this stuff, but Gaethje, if you want to fight one more guy with yellow hair, we need to know who is the best…that’s good match for you and for me,” said Fiziev. “If you’re ready, if you’re not scared, if you don’t take shit, let’s go.”
Fiziev, whose face was visibly battered at the press conference, said that it would likely be even more mangled were he to fight the hard-hitting Gaethje. But the Azerbaijani believes he has what it takes to do the same to the American.
“I think he make my face same like [how my face is now], maybe more hard,” said Fiziev. “He is also dangerous, he is big challenge for me also…like, he have a lot of chance to knock me out, and I have a lot of chance to knock him out. But that’s good fight I think, for fans also.”
What do you think of a potential matchup between Rafael Fiziev and Justin Gaethje?