'Don't act like you are better' - Rafael Fiziev takes a shot at the UFC's ranked lightweights

UFC Fight Night: Figueiredo v Benavidez 2 Weigh-in
UFC Fight Night: Figueiredo v Benavidez 2 Weigh-in
Frank Bonada
Modified 04 May 2021

UFC lightweight phenom Rafael Fiziev has lashed out at the top 15 of the 155lb division. Fiziev has quickly established himself as a fan favourite to MMA audiences, despite only being four fights into his UFC career.

The Kyrgyzstan native has a muay-thai background which he has incorporated into a devastating MMA game.

Exhilarating displays of violence against high-level opposition, such as Marc Diakesie and Renato Moicano, have quickly established him at the top of the unranked LW pecking order. Fiziev currently holds a 9-1 record, with only two of his victories going the full three rounds.

Rafael Fiziev Calls Out Kevin Lee

Fiziev has called out multiple opponents in the top 15, most recently Kevin Lee, but has had no apparent response.

The lack of response appears to have irritated Fiziev, who has taken to Twitter to vent his frustrations. He posted the following:

"I understand why top 15 guys don’t want to fight someone outside of top 15. But don’t act like you are better and ignore the callouts. You can just say no. Soon tables will turn and this ratings will look very different."

Lee would be a logical matchup for Fiziev. The American wrestler is ranked 13th in the 15 division, and is coming off a demoralizing loss to Charles Olivera.

Lee initially hinted at a potential retirement, but has since declared that he will be returning to the UFC octagon. A fight against a rising prospect in Fiziev would likely get him back on track, allowing him to start climbing the rankings once again, should he win.

Fiziev has also previously called out former lightweight title challenger Al Iaqunita. Unfortunately for Fiziev, Iaquinta was in the process of recovering from multiple surgeries at the time of the callout. It is unknown when Iaqunita will return, although he did seem potentially interested.

However, it is not essential to Fiziev that his next opponent be ranked. He stated that he simply wishes to remain active. This would follow in the same vein as recent breakout stars such as Kevin Holland and Giga Chikadze, who forced their way into the rankings by simply fighting incredibly regularly.

The only man to ever defeat Fiziev, Magomed Mustafaev, is another name that has been touted as a potential opponent. Fiziev has already improved significantly since their first meeting in 2019, and he no doubt will jump at the chance to get that fight back.

Published 04 May 2021
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