Well, it looks like we are going to see who the best ‘Rafael’ is in the UFC‘s lightweight division after all. ESPN’s Brett Okamoto reported this afternoon that the promotion has finalized a big time lightweight matchup between former champion Rafael Dos Anjos (30-13) and Rafael Fiziev (11-1).
The matchup will headline a UFC Fight Night on February 19th. This is the fight that Rafael Fiziev wanted and it’s the fight that he’s going to get. Fiziev gets the biggest opportunity of his UFC career and he’s going to be looking for his sixth straight win.
Fiziev didn’t get off to the best start with the promotion dropping his first fight. However, he’s been perfect since that loss. He’s currently riding a five-fight winning streak and his last win came against Brad Riddell back in December.
If Fiziev is able to pickup the win next month, he will vault straight into contention. This is the moment that Fiziev has been waiting for since he joined the UFC and he’s finally getting it. However, he’s going to have his hands full in this matchup.
RDA’s UFC Title Hopes
Back in 2016, Rafael Dos Anjos lost to Tony Ferguson which was his second straight loss. The first loss is where he lost his UFC lightweight title. After that fight, he decided to move up to the welterweight division. He won his first three fights at 170.
However, once he reached the guys at the very top of the division, he ran into some issues. He went 1-4 in his next five which prompted him to reconsider his options. The former UFC champion decided to return to the weight class that made him a champion.
In November of 2020, RDA returned to lightweight where he was supposed to face off with Islam Makhachev. However, due to a last minute injury, RDA fought Paul Felder instead. He put on a great performance and won a decision.
We haven’t seen the former lightweight champion since that fight as he’s had a number of injuries. Now, he’s been cleared to compete and he’s ready to make another run at the UFC lightweight championship.