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Rafael Fiziev thinks he's a risky fight for Dustin Poirier, believes Khabib Nurmagomedov can still dominate 155lbs

Rafael Fiziev (left), Dustin Poirier (top right), Khabib Nurmagomedov (bottom right) [Image credits: Fiziev via @rafael_ataman_fiziev on Instagram, rest via Getty]
Rafael Fiziev (left), Dustin Poirier (top right), Khabib Nurmagomedov (bottom right) [Image credits: Fiziev via @rafael_ataman_fiziev on Instagram, rest via Getty]

Andrew Whitelaw from Sportskeeda MMA brings us another epic interview, this time with rising lightweight star Rafael Fiziev. Their conversation saw Fiziev discuss everything, from not wanting to fight training partners to why Beneil Dariush and Islam Makhachev deserve title shots and his upcoming fight against Rafael dos Anjos.

Rafael Fiziev is ranked No.10 in the UFC lightweight division and is currently on a five-fight win streak. He will be headlining the main event on Saturday night as he goes up against UFC legend 'RDA' at UFC Fight Night: Dos Anjos vs. Fiziev.

Check out the best parts of the interview in the transcription below.


Transcription:

Q: What do you think a win over Rafael does for you now, ex-champion, legend, you’re already at No.10.

He’s seven, that puts you right in that conversation. How exciting is that for you to be just right up there? Maybe top five after this?

A: I believe, this win, this fight, if I make this all good, this [will be a] big jump for me [for my] title fight.

This is a big jump, and maybe one more fight, and then I [will be] really close for [the] title for my dream.

Q: Sounds like you’ve got that figured out, I love that, it’s awesome. Have you trained a lot with Michael Chandler?

I know he’s the team captain over there, but he’s right in your way, have you guys spoken about this? Have you guys sparred much?

A: No we never spoke about it, we have trained in the same gym many times, sometimes we stay partners in training.

And yeah, of course for me, I don’t like [to] fight with people, if I train with them in the gym.

Sometimes on Instagram, I congratulate him [and] he congratulates me just like a good [friend] you know.

And maybe for someone this is [a] good feeling or something, or like he doesn’t feel nothing, but I feel bad.

Like [my] fight with Brad [Riddell]. Yes, I was happy when I won but I’m still shy to look him in the eye, and I’m still shy to talk with him.

I’m still shy to talk about this fight, you know, because I don’t feel so good after this.

Q: If you’re Sean Shelby, what do you think is the most appropriate fight to make for the title right now?

A: I don’t know if I’m sure, this is not easy, because for me everyone knows Oliveira, he [is] the champion.

He [is the] real champion, he [has] not lost and also this is [a] story with skills with catchweight.

Everyone said they have problems with his skills, everyone. And I don’t believe he missed the weight.

And two people deserve this title fight for sure, [Beneil] Dariush and Islam Makhachev, they together deserve it 100% for me.

That’s why if Dariush fights Oliveira [or if] Makhachev fights Oliveira, that’s the same thing.

Or, more than horrible [worst case] if Dariush and Makhachev fight [while] Oliveira waits, and afterwards Oliveira fights with somebody.

But still, Dariush and Makhachev together deserve it.

Q: Dustin Poirier went really quiet for a while, I thought he might be retired but he’s still No.2.

And he says he wants to fight. What is the most interesting next fight for you, if it’s not for the belt?

A: By after you mean after 'RDA'? I don’t know, I don’t think so somebody like Poirier or Gaethje, these guys don’t want to fight with me.

He still tries to run for sure, if everything will be good, you see, just remember my words. This guy, he runs, he [will] never want to fight with people like me.

Because they don’t want to take the risk.

Q: In that light, as a competitor, are you sad that Khabib has retired, because you’ll never get to test yourself against him?

Or is it good that he’s out of the way now?

A: I don’t think about it. I think Khabib still has power and he still can fight and he still can beat everyone.

But for him, I think it’s not like before, he does not have his father with him, [and] I know the Caucasian traditions, I know Dagestani traditions.

Now he [will] want to stay with his mom, he [will] want to stay with his family, you know, enjoy time with [his] mom and family.

And I think he follows this and in our traditions, when [your] mom or father says something [to] you, we need to follow this.

We can’t [tell our] mother or father like “Oh, I want this,” and yeah that’s why I think he stopped.

But he can, if he really [has] a chance [to] come back or fight again? He can, I think, for sure, because how old is he, 33-34 years old?


Watch Rafael Fiziev's interview with Sportskeeda MMA:

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Timestamps:

Q: Ladies and gentlemen, a warm welcome to the No.10 lightweight in the UFC Rafael Fiziev.

[Going] up against Rafael dos Anjos in the main event very very soon, finally. We’ve been waiting a long time for this one.

Rafa vs. Rafa, one of the most exciting fighters in the UFC versus a legend in the game, main event.

How does it feel to finally get there after being made to wait and wait for it to happen? (0:00)

Q: I know you love this sport, right? Is it interesting for you the way things work out? In your last fight, you fought Brad Riddell who’s like a friend.

And you got an amazing KO. Now you’re fighting a guy you kind of grew up watching. Do you think the sport is a bit crazy like that? The way that things pan out? (1:08)

Q: Is there anybody in the division that you really don’t like? Who you would love to fight just because you don’t like them? (1:45)

Q: What do you think a win over Rafael does for you now, ex-champion, legend, you’re already at No.10.

He’s seven, that puts you right in that conversation. How exciting is that for you to be just right up there? Maybe the top five after this? (2:20)

Q: What’s most important to you, the title or getting paid a lot of money? Because you’re ranked higher than Conor McGregor.

That must be quite cool? (2:56)

Q: Sounds like you’ve got that figured out, I love that, it’s awesome. Have you trained a lot with Michael Chandler?

I know he’s the team captain over there, but he’s right in your way. Have you guys spoken about this? Have you guys sparred much? (3:49)

Q: What about the Moicano fight for 'RDA'? What are you expecting from him? He’s good in wrestling, he’s good in striking.

You also knocked out Moicano, right? So were you impressed with the Moicano fight? And what do you expect 'RDA' to bring your way? (5:02)

Q: If you’re Sean Shelby, what do you think is the most appropriate fight to make for the title right now? (6:11)

Q: Dustin Poirier went really quiet for a while. I thought he might be retired but he’s still No.2.

And he says he wants to fight. What is the most interesting next fight for you, if it’s not for the belt? (7:28)

Q: What did you think of the Tsarukyan-Gamrot fight? Did that just show how good your division is? (8:32)

Q: In that light, as a competitor, are you sad that Khabib has retired, because you’ll never get to test yourself against him?

Or is it good that he’s out of the way now? (9:23)

Q: I was reading an old UFC interview of yours. I think when you first arrived in the UFC and you said you always fight to put on a great fight, win or lose.

You always want to put on a beautiful performance. Looking at how interesting 'RDA’s' last fight was, do you think this could be a classic, like a Fight of the Year with him? (11:00)

Q: I was looking back at your record and I saw you fought on Primal FC in Phuket and I think it rained like crazy that night maybe?

And then you fought in Road in Korea. What’s been the craziest experience for you [in] your career so far? In terms of the craziest fight or night? (12:31)

Q: Well I’m wishing you another bonus, it’s going to be legendary. I’m really glad to interview you again.

And Rafael, you’re the man, thanks a lot. (14:23)

Edited by Aziel Karthak
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