Rafael Fiziev extended his impressive winning streak to six fights with a fifth round knockout of Rafael dos Anjos in the main event of UFC On ESPN 39 last night, and then called out Justin Gaethje to be his next opponent.
“I want a fight with Gaethje,” Fiziev said. “We need to know who is the best for you and for me. If you’re ready, if you’re no scared, if you don’t take s**t, let’s go.”
“He’s dangerous. He’s also a big challenge for me,” Fiziev continued. “He has a lot of chance for knocking me out, and I have a lot of chance for knocking him out.
“That’s a good fight, I think, for fans also.”
The thought of two of the most dangerous strikers in the division being locked in the Octagon together certainly is a mouth-watering prospect.
Fiziev has been making a name for himself as one of lightweight’s deadliest striker with his dangerous muay thai ability that’s also led to KO finishes of both Brad Riddell and Renato Moicano in recent fights.
That being said, he still has some way to go to match Gaethje’s violent resume, having finished the likes of Tony Ferguson, Donald Cerrone, Edson Barboza, James Vick and Michael Johnson during his time in the UFC.
Gaethje is currently coming off a submission loss to Charles Oliveira in an interim lightweight title fight back in May, and in a recent interview suggested it could be next year before he returns to action after undergoing nose surgery.
“I’m going to get nose surgery July 14,” Gaethje told reporters at a UFC Hall of Fame ceremony in Las Vegas. “Take a good month to recover, and get back to work. I think end of the year, most likely early next year (I’ll be back). There’s a few fights that are going to happen, so I’ll let those happen. I want to clear a two or three-fight path back to the title fight. I want to earn it, like I should.”
Whether Fiziev would be willing to wait that long, and whether the UFC would be interested in putting on the fight remains to be seen.