Rafael dos Anjos Says Rafael Fiziev Stoppage Wasn’t Premature

Rafael dos Anjos suffered a KO loss to Rafael Fiziev early in the fifth round of their main event fight at UFC On ESPN 39 on Saturday night, and while some observers thought the stoppage was premature, RDA himself has no complaints about it.

“I don’t think so,” dos Anjos said on ESPN+ after the event. “I’ve got to rewatch the tape, but I don’t think so. He won fair and square.

“I’ve got to rewatch it, and I was kind of still dizzy, but yeah it was a tough fight. Rafael was a tough opponent. I trained very hard for that fight, and I was really feeling I had my momentum, but that’s the game.”

It certainly was a close fight up until that moment, but while he felt he had the upper-hand going into the final five minutes, dos Anjos was impressed by how well Fiziev was doing, particularly with his ability to keep the fight on the feet.

“He’s a tough dude,” dos Anjos admitted. “I didn’t expect any less from him. I knew guys from east Europe, they’re always tough and I knew it would be a hard fight. Actually his takedown defense impressed me a little bit but I got him down in the fourth [round], hit him with the flying knee, too.

“The fight was pretty close leading up to the fifth. I think I was probably a little bit ahead of him but that’s the game. I got caught unfortunately.”

As for what comes next, the 37-year-old RDA says he’s planning to take some time out before deciding what comes next.

“I fought four months ago, I fought [Renato Carneiro], now I fought Fiziev tonight and I’ve got to go back home and enjoy my family a little bit,” dos Anjos said. “I was away for 16 months and a long layoff with two knee injuries and a hernia, too. Now, it’s time to go back home and enjoy my family a little bit and see what the future holds.”

Ross launched MMA Insight (previously FightOfTheNight.com) in 2009 as a way to channel his passion for the sport of mixed martial arts. He's since penned countless news stories and live fight reports along with dozens of feature articles as the lead writer for the site, reaching millions of fans in the process.