Everything You Need to Know About the Lightweight Sensation Rafael Fiziev

Published 08/03/2021, 8:19 AM EDT


The one thing that separates the UFC from rival promotions is the abundance of talent in every single weight class. This is especially true for the lightweight division which is without a doubt the most talent-stacked division in the UFC. The likes of Michael Chandler, Islam Makhachev, Justin Gaethje among others are neck and neck in terms of skill level. However, there is an emerging talent at 155-pounds that you might want to keep an eye on. 

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Rafael Fiziev is relatively new to the promotion but has grabbed the headlines with his dominant performances off late. ‘Ataman’ hails from Kyrgyzstan and made his UFC debut in April 2019 when he was stopped by Magomed Mustafaev in the very first round. 

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‘Ataman’ bounced back from the loss with three impressive back-to-back wins. Against the likes of Alex White, Marc Diakiese, and most recently against Renato Moicano. This weekend at UFC 265, Fiziev will be aiming to extend his win streak to 4-0 against Bobby Green. Ahead of the bout, we take a closer look at Rafael Fiziev and his journey to the UFC. 

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Rafael Fiziev takes on Bobby Green as the featured fight on the preliminary card at UFC 265 

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Similar to most UFC fighters, Fiziev turned to martial arts to stand up to his bullies at school. What started out as an activity to stand up to his bullies morphed into a passion for martial arts. 

Ataman’ initially started with Muay-Thai. However, he later immersed himself in other disciplines such as wrestling, grappling, etc. ‘Ataman’ is now a well-rounded fighter with a solid ground game and a penchant to knockout opponents out with brutal power. He has secured an impressive 67% of his wins via T/KO. 

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Fiziev initially started his career with promotions based in Asia such as Primal FC, and Road FC. After amassing a perfect record of 6-0, ‘Ataman’ was signed to the UFC. Although his debut did not go the way he would have hoped, he has since put in near-flawless performances in the UFC. If Fiziev is able to keep this up, it will not be long before he finds himself in the top 10 with an opportunity to fight for the title. 

What have you made of Rafael Fiziev’s career in the UFC thus far? Do you think he could become a champion at 155-pounds someday? Let us know in the comments below!

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Kevin Binoy

1185 articles

Kevin Binoy is an MMA author at EssentiallySports. He earned a Bachelor's degree from Fergusson College and has been covering sports professionally for over two years. Besides working with the MMA writing team, Kevin is a core member of the organization's web stories team and is responsible for delivering engaging MMA web stories.

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