Rafael Fiziev wants a top-five opponent and he picked one heck of a name to call out.
Fiziev shared the Octagon with Rafael dos Anjos on July 9. The action emanated from the UFC Apex. The lightweight tilt served as the main event of UFC Vegas 58 on ESPN.
In the fifth round, Fiziev scored the knockout win with a big hook and a follow-up punch on the ground. Fiziev is likely to find himself in the number seven spot on the official UFC lightweight rankings once the list is updated.
Fiziev snagged an extra $50,000 in Performance of the Night money for his late KO finish.
During the post-fight press conference, Fiziev set his sights on Justin Gaethje and he threw in some fighting words (h/t MMAJunkie).
“Yeah, you know I want to fight with Gaethje,” Fiziev told reporters at the UFC on ESPN 39 post-fight news conference. “… Gaethje, if you want to fight, one more yellow guy with yellow hairs (Charles Oliveira), we need to know who’s best.
“That’s a good match for you and me. If you’re ready, and you’re not scared, don’t talk sh*t and let’s go.”
It definitely beats calling out renowned tennis player Rafael Nadal, which Fiziev did during his post-fight interview with Michael Bisping (via Mirror).
“Now we know who is the best Rafael in the UFC,” Fiziev told Michael Bisping in his post-fight interview. “Now we know, and I want to make a new challenge; who is the best Rafael in sport? Rafael Nadal, come here! Where is he? I can beat him in his sport too.”
It’s easy to see why Rafael Fiziev would call for Justin Gaethje to be his dance partner. Gaethje has a strong following and is the number three-ranked UFC lightweight. A win over “The Highlight” could lead to a UFC Lightweight Title opportunity.