Rafael Fiziev Comes Clean on Phuket Gym Scam: “I Moved On”

Published 01/19/2023, 1:44 AM EST

Rafael Fiziev is actively prepping to take on Justin Gaethje on a highly anticipated card of the year, UFC 286 on March 18. The Azerbaijani fighter is currently at 12-1-0 in his MMA career and on a 6-match win streak out of the 7 total fights he’s had in the UFC. As remarkable of a fighter as Fiziev is, still, Gaethje could be one tough nut to crack in their encounter. However, there’s yet another thing that’s keeping the 29-year-old in the news lately. Fiziev‘s former training team, Phuket Top Team, has accused the UFC fighter of failing to pay them timely rent and has called him out publicly on Twitter.

After coming under the bus, in his retaliation, the 6th ranked lightweight stalwart has put out his version of events and blasted the Thailand-based team for trying to ruin his image after their failed pursuit to get him to pay them more than they had agreed to.

Rafael Fiziev claims he’s been ‘threatened’ but doesn’t care anymore


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Fiziev vs. Gaethje became the talk of the town as soon as the UFC made the official announcement. This announcement even got Rafael Fiziev’s former opponent, Renato Moicano rooting for him. And responding to that tweet, intervened the Phuket Top Team with their accusations on the ‘Ataman’.

They wrote, “#PayYourRent Fiziev owes 3 months rent for over 3 years to Thai house owner. Has written to them saying he would pay multiple times, but never has. Doesn’t dispute owing rent just doesn’t want want to pay it. @Justin_Gaethje please collect the rent “

As soon as this came to Fiziev‘s light, he put out his side of the story and hit back at Phuket Top Team for putting out a false narrative.

In his tweet, he put out a very detailed narrative of what occurred to him. The 29-year-old outlined the scenario all the way from 2015 when it all started with the Phuket Top Team to when they parted ways. And offered his share of reasoning to it, too. Along with this fact, he stated that the owner of that gym threatened him to pay more than what was initially agreed upon. And since that was not happening from Fiziev‘s end, he claims that the PTT is simply trying to put dirt on his name. At last, he concluded by saying, “I moved on, he can continue promote this gym this way if he wants to.”

This story holds no significance to him. Rafael Fiziev is simply focusing on Justin Gaethje as of now, who simply serves as a stepping stone to a bigger milestone he has in his sight.

Justin Gaethje will serve as a stepping stone


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Even before the fight was proclaimed, the Azerbaijani fighter revealed the UFC promising him Justin Gaethje. And upon discussing the same, he stated that everyone, including Dana White, wants this fight. But he sees this as a ‘dangerous fight’ and a ‘big challenge’. Having said this fight could bring him a step closer to his Everest: the world title.

Fiziev said, “I’ve never seen anyone call out Gaethje. … 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. …”


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Who do you think will take home the victory? Let us know in the comments below.

Watch this story: Kamaru Usman vs. Leon Edwards And Justin Gaethje vs. Rafael Fiziev Finalized For UFC 286



Mayur Soni

316 articles

Mayur Soni is a UFC Writer at EssentiallySports. His interest in the UFC heightened when he first saw his favorite fighter Conor McGregor knockout Jose Aldo in mere 13 seconds, in 2015. He thus got hooked on the sport.

Edited By: Rohini Kottu