In the main event of UFC Vegas 58, we finally saw the battle of the Rafaels. Former lightweight champion Rafael Dos Anjos (31-13) returned to the octagon to take on surging top contender Rafael Fiziev (11-1).
Originally, these two were supposed to headline a UFC Fight Night in February. However, due to travel complications, the fight was moved back a few weeks to UFC 272. Then, Fiziev came down with Covid and the fight was called off.
RDA stayed on the card and demolished last-minute replacement Renato Moicano. Since returning to the division that made him a UFC champion, Dos Anjos has gone 2-0 with wins over Moicano and Paul Felder.
Rafael Fiziev has won five straight fights and he put on a show in his last fight. He knocked out fellow top striker Brad Riddell with a wheel kick. UFC Vegas 58 was a huge step up for him and he was looking to pass the challenge.
UFC Vegas 58 Recap
The UFC Vegas 58 main event kicked off with a touch of the gloves. Dos Anjos takes the center and starts working feints. Quick body kick lands for Fiziev and then he lands another. Body kick answer from Dos Anjos.
Dos Anjos clips Fiziev with a couple of really nice left hands. Fiziev is circling and Dos Anjos is looking to cut him off. Both men trade left hooks in the center. Takedown attempt from Dos Anjos and Fiziev defends well.
Dos Anjos controlling Fiziev against the fence and landing nice knees. Fiziev is having trouble getting off the fence as RDA is just controlling him here. More knees to the thighs but Fiziev explodes out and they’re striking.
Both men land big body kicks. Nice knee lands for Fiziev and he follows it with a left. RDA answers back with a nice combination that ends with a calf kick. Dos Anjos shoots in for another takedown attempt.
Fiziev defends well but finds himself along the fence again. Nice elbow from Dos Anjos and they break. Step in elbow for Fiziev lands nicely. Big combination from Fiziev that got RDA’s attention. Round ends and some momentum for Fiziev but the first goes to the former UFC champion.
Entering the second at UFC Vegas 58 and the momentum is opposite of the scorecards after one. They touch gloves and here we go. Nice body kick from Dos Anjos starts the striking with a nice body kick.
Another clean body kick lands for RDA that forces Fiziev to clinch. They quickly break and then an accidental eye poke pauses the action. Back at it and they immediately exchange heat. Dos Anjos lands a nice left and then he shoots for a takedown.
Fiziev defends well but RDA swings around to his back. Dos Anjos can’t get the takedown and Fiziev breaks the clinch to get back to range. Nice jab from the former champion lands. Fiziev lands a beautiful hook to the body.
Check left hook lands for Fiziev who is starting to land. Dos Anjos lands a stiff jab and then a body kick. Beautiful takedown timing from Dos Anjos but RDA can’t complete it as Fiziev defends extremely well.
Fiziev controlling RDA against the fence and lands an elbow on the break. Lead uppercut lands nicely for Dos Anjos. Fiziev answers with a clean left and then a nice combination behind it. Round comes to a close and it was very close. Could be tied at UFC Vegas 58.
Entering the third at UFC Vegas 58 and this fight is very close. Fiziev starts the striking with a nice body kick and a good combination behind it. Dos Anjos shoots for a takedown and has Fiziev against the fence.
RDA trying really hard for the takedown here but Fiziev continues defending well. Fiziev almost goes down but somehow stays on his feet. RDA gets him down for about two seconds and Fiziev immediately pops back up.
Dos Anjos continues trying for the takedown as he has Fiziev against the fence. Fiziev explodes away to get back to striking. Body kick lands for Fiziev. Nice left hand lands for Dos Anjos and he immediately goes back to a takedown attempt.
Heavy cage pressure from the former champion, but Fiziev reverses the position. They break again. They trade low kicks in the center. Nice right hand finds the mark for Fiziev. Another nice right hand lands for Fiziev.
Lead knee and a left behind it for Fiziev. Dos Anjos answers with a nice jab. Big combination lands for Fiziev. 1-2 from Dos Anjos on the answer. Another close round as the bell sounds, but I think Fiziev is up at UFC Vegas 58.
Entering the fourth round at UFC Vegas 58 and the scores could be all over the place, but Fiziev seems to be winning this one. Body kick and a right hand for Fiziev starts the striking. Dos Anjos shoots for a takedown attempt and pushes Fiziev against the fence.
Knees to the thighs from RDA and Fiziev breaks the clinch. Big combination from Fiziev who is really turning up the heat on his shots. RDA shoots in but Fiziev gets the better of the position and pushes Dos Anjos against the fence.
They break and Dos Anjos lands a flying knee and a big straight shot behind it. Now it’s Fiziev who forces a clinch after that big flurry from Dos Anjos. Fiziev with heavy cage pressure and then he backs away.
Nice combination lands for Dos Anjos and then both men land big shots. They clinch in the center and immediately break. Nice body shot from RDA and then he gets deep on a double leg. Big takedown lands for the former champion.
RDA settling into the top position here and Fiziev is not doing much to get back up. The round ends and it’s definitely an RDA round. Could be 2-2 at UFC Vegas 58.
Entering the final round at UFC Vegas 58 and I have it tied up with one round to go. RDA definitely looks fresher as the final round starts. Body kick for Fiziev. RDA lands a big left then out of no where Fiziev sits him down with a huge shot. One follow up shot and this one is over. Huge win for Rafael Fiziev!
Rafael Fiziev def. Rafael Dos Anjos by TKO – Round 5