Rafael Fiziev stops Brad Riddell at UFC Vegas 44

Daniel Cunningham
Feb 3, 2018; Belem, Brazil; View of the ring before UFC Fight Night at Mangueirinho Arena. Mandatory Credit: Jason Silva-USA TODAY Sports

In the co-main event of UFC Vegas 44, we saw a showdown in the lightweight division between two of the best strikers in the division. Brad Riddell (10-1) was trying to stay perfect in the UFC as he took on Rafael Fiziev (10-1).

Riddell entered UFC Vegas 44 a perfect 4-0 in the promotion. The City Kickboxing product has shown off his tremendous striking and his timing during his tenure thus far. In his last fight, he had a war with Drew Dober that he won by decision.

Standing across Riddell tonight was someone who you could consider his striking equal. Rafael Fiziev is not someone you want to be striking with and he was out to prove that at UFC Vegas 44. After losing his UFC debut, Fiziev has been perfect.

That debut loss humbled Fiziev and he’s responded beautifully winning four consecutive fights. In his last fight, he went to war with Bobby Green and was able to win a decision. He was looking for more of a statement against Riddell tonight.

UFC Vegas 44 Recap

Round 1

The UFC Vegas 44 lightweight contest kicked off with a touch of the gloves. Riddell looks for his jab to start the striking. Fiziev opens with a leg kick as he circles on the outside. Nice low kick lands for Brad Riddell.

Body kick finds it’s home for Fiziev. Both of these men are extremely measured in the opening minutes. Powerful body kick lands for Riddell. Fiziev just misses on a big kick which draws a smile from Riddell. Check left hook for Riddell.

Riddell steps in and both men attempt to throw big shots but nothing lands. Huge body kick lands for Fiziev. Nice combinations for both men as they both connect. Riddell pushes forward and lands another nice combination.

Jab lands for Fiziev. Huge right just misses from Riddell. Pressure from Fiziev and he throws a kick that just misses. Riddell blitzes but Fiziev lands a nice counter right. It appears that Fiziev is looking to draw an attack from Riddell here.

Nice body kick from Fiziev. He follows that with a leg kick and then another body kick. Jab from Fiziev. However, the last ten seconds features a gorgeous combination from Riddell. Insanely close round at UFC Vegas 44 that I give to Fiziev.

Round 2

Entering the second at UFC Vegas 44 and we are seeing a very technical chess match on display here. The two men touch gloves to start the second and Fiziev goes right back on the pressure. Big low kick from Riddell opens the striking.

Body kick from Riddell and he throws a combination behind it. Fiziev lands a kick of his own then clips Riddell with a left. Riddell is looking sharp here in the first 90 seconds. Fiziev steps in and lands a nice 1-2. Riddell is cut but steps in and lands a big right.

Both men exchange good low kicks. Nice check left hook for Fiziev. Body kick from Riddell. Both step forward and land big left hooks. These boys are throwing down here in the second. Nice combination from Riddell and Fiziev lands a nice counter on the exit.

Riddell misses a shot and eats a big counter right from Fiziev. They clinch briefly and Fiziev lands a couple of knees. Short right and a body kick from Fiziev. Jab from Fiziev and Riddell lands a body kick.

Nice step-in left lands for Fiziev. Riddell comes in but eats a counter right from Fiziev. The round comes to a close and it’s another close one at UFC Vegas 44. Either man could take either round but I lean 2-0 Fiziev.

Round 3

Entering the final round at UFC Vegas 44 and this is truly any man’s fight. Riddell steps forward with immediate pressure to start the final round. Fiziev lands a couple of really nice counter shots to start the striking.

Riddell times a takedown beautifully and gets Fiziev to the ground. However, Fiziev immediately pops up to the feet and they’re back to striking. Riddell steps in but eats a nasty counter left from Fiziev. Lots of urgency from Riddell in the final frame.

Riddell steps in and eats another big left. However, Riddell lands a nice left of his own on the end. Riddell tries to get another takedown but Fiziev defends well. Both men explode into big combinations and both men land.

Nice low kick from Fiziev. Body kick from Riddell. Spinning wheel kick from Fiziev and Riddell is out on his feet. Herb Dean stops it and Riddell falls. Huge win for Rafael Fiziev.

Rafael Fiziev def. Brad Riddell by KO – Round 3