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Rafael Fiziev: I Want To Win Again And Give A Show

10 months ago By Sports Desk

Rafael Fiziev believes he has grown stronger following his loss to Justin Gaethje ahead of Saturday’s UFC Fight Night 228 main event.

After stringing together a six-win streak in the lightweight division, Fiziev (12-2 MMA, 6-2 UFC) ran into a tough obstacle in “BMF” champion Gaethje at UFC 286 in March. He started strong but then was bloodied and outmatched down the stretch in a unanimous decision loss.

Six months later, Fiziev is back and will face Mateusz Gamrot (22-2 MMA, 5-2 UFC) in a key 155-pound bout at the UFC Apex, which will air on ESPN+. He has come to terms with his performance with Gaethje, shored up the holes he identified in his strategy and execution, and is prepared to get back on track.

“The loss is the last time, I’m sad for the last time,” Fiziev told MMA Junkie and other journalists at Wednesday’s UFC Fight Night 228 media day. “Everyone doesn’t like to lose. I want to win again. “I want to put on a show again and have my hand raised.”

After going toe-to-toe with Gaethje for three rounds in London, Fiziev has almost the opposite type of matchup. Gamrot has made it clear that he will try to stifle Fiziev with his grappling game, but Fiziev is confident he can keep the fight on his turf.

“We are different styles, and that is why it is also very interesting for me”, declared Fiziev. “All my life I have learned to stop fighters, to defend takedowns and to stay standing.”

Lessons learned

Fiziev, 30, also learned from the loss to Gaethje that he can’t get ahead of things. He knows the challenge he has at hand, and he knows that he cannot afford consecutive defeats. “I can’t say I’m humble – I’m always humble,” Fiziev said. « I don’t have names. Everyone thinks too much about rankings, in the numbers. That is why this division remains (still). “I just want to fight.”

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