Rafael Fiziev, 28, last weekend at the UFC 265 event continued to justify his status as one of the greatest potentials in the UFC lightweight division. The Kyrgyz defeated Bobby Green by a unanimous decision of the judges and thus came to the fourth victory in a row.
He suffered his only defeat in his UFC debut against Magomed Mustafaev. Fiziev switched to MMA from kickboxing and muay thai, and is known as a fighter with a very attractive style and a wide repertoire of skills. In a conversation with James Lynch, the Kyrgyz touched on Khabib Nurmagomedov and his fighting style.
'' I've never been a fan of his because we have different styles. There is a big difference in our fighting styles. I’m a hitter, and he’s a wrestler. He is a very good wrestler and with wrestling at his level you can beat anyone, but I don’t like that way of fighting."
"I don’t like fights like the one between Islam Makhachev and Drew Dober. It was about three rounds of wrestling and nothing else. Islam ended it, but it was a boring fight, "Fiziev said. It is not uncommon for fighters, as well as fans themselves, to think that fighters who prefer a fight on its feet are more attractive than those who base their tactics mainly on wrestling and the ground.
However, MMA consists of a wide range of different martial arts and it is somewhat unfair to say that Khabib Nurmagomedov was a boring fighter when we consider his constant pressure and total dominance on the ground.
However, Fiziev also has the right to his opinion, and if he continues with the victories, he may reach the top of the category one day. There, in a real conflict of styles, he could be greeted by Islam Makhachev, who would definitely be motivated after such comments from the Kyrgyz.
Still, Islam Makhachev is a much better fighter by all accounts and Fiziev would have a difficult task. Makhachev shows that he can be one of the best, and Nurmagomedov predicts that he will win the belt soon. Fiziev has started well so far and it remains for him to keep the same pace he has and show that he is a fighter who can match anyone.
We will find out his next opponent, and it would be interesting for that fighter to be exactly someone who prefers to fight on the ground. But, let's wait anyway