Rafael Fiziev says he’ll be “shocked” if Justin Gaethje fight doesn’t happen in March: “When the UFC wants it, they make it happen”

By Cole Shelton - January 10, 2023

Rafael Fiziev is confident he will fight Justin Gaethje his next time out.

Rafael Fiziev, Justin Gaethje, UFC 286

Fiziev has called out Gaethje in the past and ‘The Highlight’ has expressed some interest in the fight as well, but to date it hasn’t come to fruition. Although it hasn’t been booked yet, Fiziev says Dana White and the UFC have told him they want to schedule the contest to take place in March.

“I’m not announcing anything, but the UFC promised us that I’ll be fighting Justin Gaethje in March. Everyone wants this fight, Dana White wants this fight,” Fiziev said to Red Corner MMA. “I was told to get ready for March. We’re waiting for the contract to make it official. That’s what it is as of now. If something changes, I’ll be shocked. If it gets canceled, I’ll record a story like, UFC, what’s going on?”

As of right now, the hold up is the location as Fiziev says the UFC is talking about making it happen at UFC 285 in Vegas or UFC 286 in London two weeks later.

Regardless of where it happens, Rafael Fiziev is confident this fight will happen and he is excited about it. He knows Justin Gaethje poses a lot of problems and is a dangerous fighter but that is why he is so excited to face him.

“Probably everything combined. It’s a big challenge for me. It’s a dangerous fight for me. He’s a strong fighter, it’s also something very interesting for me, something that brings me joy and makes me energetic. I’ve never seen anyone call out Gaethje. Nobody said, Gaethje, Gaethje, Gaethje, come fight me. Not sure, maybe you can correct me. I like that. I like that I’m the first to call him out and I truly want to fight him. Also, it’ll bring me closer to the title. I know I’m close. If I beat Gaethje in spectacular fashion, I’ll easily be able to fight for the title.”

Fiziev is coming off a TKO win over Rafael dos Anjos in his first UFC main event back in July. He’s also currently ranked sixth at lightweight and holds notable wins over Renato Moicano, Brad Riddell, and Bobby Green among others. Gaethje, meanwhile, is ranked third at lightweight and has not fought since May when he lost to Charles Oliveira for the title.

Who do you think would win, Rafael Fiziev or Justin Gaethje?