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UFC Fight Night — Rafael Fiziev continues hot run in fifth-round KO of ex-champ Rafael dos Anjos


LAS VEGAS — Rafael Fiziev managed to be one step forward of Rafael dos Anjos over the course of 4 light-weight rounds on Saturday. After which within the fifth, he put the previous champion away for good measure.

Fiziev (12-1) continued his ascent of the UFC’s light-weight rankings with a blistering, left hook knockout 18 seconds into the ultimate spherical. The victory, which headlined UFC Struggle Night time contained in the Apex, prolonged Fiziev’s successful streak to 6. After the combat, Fiziev, who’s infamous for his refusal of calling out any future champion, referred to as for tennis’ celebrity Rafael Nadal.

“Now we all know who the very best Rafael is within the UFC,” Fiziev stated. “Now we all know, and now I need to make a problem: Who’s the very best Rafael within the sport? Rafael Nadal, come right here.”

Fiziev, 29, won’t be comfy calling different fighters out, however he has no difficulty in terms of dealing with them within the cage. His efficiency on Saturday was environment friendly and violent, because it has been all through his profession. Representing the nation of Azerbaijan, Fiziev labored on Anjos’ physique with kicks and boxing combos all through all 5 rounds. Dos Anjos got here out aggressive within the fifth, which performed instantly into Fiziev’s fingers. Referee Mark Smith stopped the bout as quickly as Fiziev linked the left.

Along with touchdown the more durable strikes on the toes, Fiziev showcased great takedown protection. Dos Anjos, who had been 2-0 since returning to light-weight from welterweight, has proven in his profession that he’ll exploit an opponent’s weak point on the bottom if there may be one. The Brazilian veteran tried to get Fiziev to the ground, however transformed simply 2-of-16 takedown makes an attempt, in accordance with UFC Stats.

“I checked out a end all rounds,” Fiziev stated. “Who stated he would take me down and submit me? What number of instances he took me down? One time? No downside. I get up.”

Fiziev has now recorded knockouts in three of his six UFC wins, together with three of his final 4. His victims embody very revered names within the division: dos Anjos, Brad Riddell and Renato Moicano.

Based on the UFC’s official rankings, dos Anjos went into Saturday because the No. 7 ranked light-weight. Fiziev was ranked No. 10.

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