After knockout win at UFC Vegas 58, what’s next for Rafael Fiziev?

Aug 7, 2021; Houston, Texas, USA; Rafael Fiziev (blue gloves) reacts to fight against Bobby Green (red gloves) during UFC 265 at Toyota Center. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

This past Saturday in the main event of UFC Vegas 58, we saw a big time showdown in the lightweight division. Former lightweight champion Rafael Dos Anjos (31-14) was taking on surging contender Rafael Fiziev (12-1). Fiziev was looking for his sixth straight UFC victory.

Heading into this matchup, a lot was going to depend on how well Fiziev would defend takedowns. Given his skills as a striker, I think everyone imagined that RDA would try to use takedowns to his advantage. That’s what he tried to do, but for the first three rounds, he couldn’t get him down.

Fiziev did an excellent job at UFC Vegas 58 using his takedown defense. RDA couldn’t get him down and as a result, Fiziev took the first three rounds on two of the judges scorecards. In the fourth, Fiziev was looking tired and the former UFC champion finally got him down.

Entering the fifth, it appeared that all the momentum was with Dos Anjos. However, Fiziev came out strong and was able to drop RDA in the first 2o seconds. Two big follow up shots later and Fiziev got the biggest win of his career.

What’s next after UFC Vegas 58?

After the fight was over, Fiziev jokingly called out Rafael Nadal for his next matchup. He proposed a cross-over matchup with Tennis and MMA. Again, he was joking but he did make a real callout in the UFC Vegas 58 post-fight presser. He called for a fight with Justin Gaethje.

Honestly, I love where his head is at and I think a lot of people would love that fight. However, I’m having a hard time believing the UFC will go in that direction. I think they would do something different with Fiziev. There is another fight that I think would make a ton of sense for Fiziev.

I think a good fight would be pairing Fiziev with Mateusz Gamrot. Sure, this would be a step back in rankings, but this would give the UFC a legit new contender near the top five ready to take on the division’s best. Gamrot is on a winning streak just like Fiziev. This would be a big clash in styles and I think UFC fans would love to see it.=

Mentioned in this article:

More about: