UFC lightweight contender Rafael Fiziev has revealed a promise the promotion made him regarding his next opponent and fight date.
While the 155-pound division isn’t short on surging talent, from Jalin Turner to Arman Tsarukyan, leading the charge is Fiziev. Since a debut loss to Magomed Mustafaev in 2019, the Kazakhstan-born Azerbaijani has remained undefeated, with victories over Renato Moicano, Bobby Green, and Brad Riddell helping him rise the ladder.
Most recently, “Ataman” made his biggest splash to date by knocking out former champion Rafael dos Anjos in what his first time in the headline spotlight at UFC Vegas 58 last July.
Now sat at #6 on the lightweight ladder and riding an impressive six-fight win streak, Fiziev is looking to stake his claim as potential title challenger by facing a name towards the top of the weight class.
For the 29-year-old, sights have been firmly set on former interim champion Justin Gaethje.
Fiziev Has Had Assurances Regarding Gaethje Fight
Ever since his post-fight interview following his triumph over dos Anjos, Fiziev has consistently called for a bout with Gaethje to be made, with a number of posts directed at “The Highlight” on social media going unanswered.
However, late last year, Fiziev finally received some positive news, with the #3-ranked contender naming him alongside Charles Oliveira as two possible options for his return.
The promotion itself also appears to be on the same wavelength, with Fiziev telling Captain Hardcore that he’s been promised a fight with Gaethje. In addition, the Azerbaijani was given two possible dates for the lightweight showdown.
“I’m not announcing anything, but the UFC promised us that I’ll be fighting Justin Gaethje in March,” Fiziev said. “Everyone wants this fight. Dana White wants this fight. I was told to get ready for March. We’re waiting for the contract to make it official. If something changes, I’ll be shocked… That’s the only question, (UFC 285 or UFC 286). They said either of those, March 4 or March 18.” (Translated by Red Corner MMA)
Should the bout be made official for either the Las Vegas or London held-pay-per-views scheduled for March, let that be a lesson to fighters — knocking your desired opponent out on EA Sports UFC 4 is an effective callout strategy…
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