Rafael Fiziev (born March 5, 1993) is an Azerbaijani[7] professional mixed martial artist and Muay Thai fighter, who currently competes in the Lightweight division of the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC). As of October 24, 2022, he is #6 in the UFC lightweight rankings.[8]

Rafael Fiziev
Born (1993-03-05) March 5, 1993 (age 30)
Korday, Kazakhstan[1]
ResidencePhuket, Thailand
Height5 ft 8 in (1.73 m)
Weight155 lb (70 kg; 11 st 1 lb)
DivisionLightweight (2015–present)
Reach71 in (180 cm)[2]
StyleMuay Thai
Fighting out ofDeerfield Beach, Florida, U.S.[3]
TeamPhuket Top Team (2015–2017)[4]
Tiger Muay Thai (2017–present)[4]
Kill Cliff FC (2021–present)[3]
RankBlue belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu under Bruninho Barbosa[5]
Years active2015–present
Kickboxing record
By knockout29
Mixed martial arts record
By knockout8
By submission1
By decision3
By knockout2
By decision1
Other information
OccupationPolice Officer[6]
Notable school(s)Police Academy of Kyrgyzstan
Mixed martial arts record from Sherdog
Medal record
Men's Muay Thai
Representing  Kyrgyzstan
World Championships
Bronze medal – third place 2016 Jönköping −71 kg (B class)

Early life Edit

Fiziev was born in Korday, Kazakhstan, to an Azerbaijani father and a Russian mother. When he was a child, Fiziev's family moved to Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan.[9]

When he was a child, Fiziev's dad bought him and his cousins boxing gloves and told them to spar. Getting beat up by his cousins, Fiziev didn't enjoy fighting and soon gave it up. It wasn't until he changed schools as a teenager that Fiziev took up Muay Thai at the age of 11 due to being bullied.[10] While he concentrated on Muay Thai growing up, he also took up several other combat sports including combat sambo, boxing, Jiu Jitsu, and wrestling.[10] When switching from Thai boxing to MMA, he says learning the grappling was the toughest part but his striking and standup required adjusting as well.[10]

Muay Thai career Edit

On April 29, 2016, Fiziev participated to the Toyota Marathon Tournament. In the quarter-finals he defeated Ruslan Rybakov by decision. In the semi-finals he knocked out Phakhow Darbphong 191. In Final he faced Sorgraw Petchyindee Academy who defeated him by decision.[11]

Fiziev entered the 2017 Toyota Marathon 154 lb tournament as well, defeating Detrit Sathian Gym by decision in the semifinal. In the final he rematched Sorgraw Petchyindee Academy. He lost again by decision but went viral on social media in the process due to the impressive lean back defensive technique he displayed.[12]

On April 21, 2017, Fiziev faced former Lumpinee Stadium champion Yodpayak Sitsongpeenong at a Muay Xtreme event in Bangkok, Thailand. Fiziev won the fight by knockout in the second round.[13]

On September 22, 2017, Fiziev faced Leyton Collimore at Phoenix FC 3 in London, England. He was defeated by unanimous decision.[14]

Mixed martial arts career Edit

Early career Edit

Fiziev made his professional MMA debut in 2015. He fought in Asian regional promotions like ROAD FC and the American promotion Titan FC before he signed with UFC.[15]

Ultimate Fighting Championship Edit

In his promotional debut, Fiziev faced Magomed Mustafaev on April 20, 2019, at UFC Fight Night 149.[16] He lost the fight by first-round technical knockout.[17]

Fiziev next faced Alex White on October 26, 2019, at UFC on ESPN+ 20.[18] He won the fight via unanimous decision.[19]

Fiziev faced Marc Diakiese, replacing Alan Patrick on July 19, 2020, at UFC Fight Night 172.[20] He won the fight via unanimous decision.[21] This fight earned him the Fight of the Night award.[22]

On August 5, 2020, Fiziev announced on his social media that he had signed a new, four-fight contract with the UFC.[23]

He was scheduled to face Renato Moicano on November 28, 2020, at UFC on ESPN: Blaydes vs. Lewis.[24] However, Moicano pulled out on November 28 after testing positive for COVID-19 and the bout was rescheduled for UFC 256.[25] Fiziev won the fight via TKO in the first round.[26] This win earned him his first Performance of the Night award.[27]

Fiziev faced Bobby Green on August 7, 2021, at UFC 265.[28] He won the fight via unanimous decision.[29] This fight earned him the Fight of the Night award.[30]

He faced Brad Riddell at UFC on ESPN 31 on December 4, 2021.[31] He won the fight via knockout in round three.[32] This win earned him the Performance of the Night award.[33]

Fiziev was scheduled to face Rafael dos Anjos on February 19, 2022, at UFC Fight Night 201.[34] However, the bout was postponed to UFC 272 due to visa issues with Fiziev.[35] One week before the event, Fiziev was again forced to withdraw due to testing positive for COVID-19[36] and was replaced by Renato Moicano.[37] The bout was rescheduled the third time for UFC on ESPN 39 on July 9, 2022.[38] Fiziev won the fight via knockout in round five.[39] This win earned him the Performance of the Night award.[40]

Fiziev faced former UFC interim Lightweight Champion Justin Gaethje on March 18, 2023, at UFC 286.[41] He lost the back-and-forth fight via majority decision.[42] This fight earned him the Fight of the Night bonus award.[43]

Fiziev faced Mateusz Gamrot on September 23, 2023UFC Fight Night 228.[44] He lost the fight via technical knockout due to knee injury in round two.[45]

Personal life Edit

Outside of fighting, Fiziev enjoys blacksmithing with an emphasis on cold steel arms.[10] He is a devout Shia Muslim.[46]

In 2021, Fiziev revealed he would no longer be representing his home country of Kyrgyzstan during his UFC bouts due to the country's religious discrimination of Shia Muslims. He has since made Phuket, Thailand his primary residence.[46] In 2021, Fiziev became a citizen of Azerbaijan and now represents the country, and he is the first Azerbaijani representative to compete in the UFC.[47]

Championships and accomplishments Edit

Mixed martial arts Edit

Muay Thai Edit

Mixed martial arts record Edit

Professional record breakdown
15 matches 12 wins 3 losses
By knockout 8 2
By submission 1 0
By decision 3 1
Res. Record Opponent Method Event Date Round Time Location Notes
Loss 12–3 Mateusz Gamrot TKO (knee injury) UFC Fight Night: Fiziev vs. Gamrot September 23, 2023 2 2:03 Las Vegas, Nevada, United States
Loss 12–2 Justin Gaethje Decision (majority) UFC 286 March 18, 2023 3 5:00 London, England Fight of the Night.
Win 12–1 Rafael dos Anjos KO (punches) UFC on ESPN: dos Anjos vs. Fiziev July 9, 2022 5 0:18 Las Vegas, Nevada, United States Performance of the Night.
Win 11–1 Brad Riddell KO (spinning wheel kick) UFC on ESPN: Font vs. Aldo December 4, 2021 3 2:20 Las Vegas, Nevada, United States Performance of the Night.
Win 10–1 Bobby Green Decision (unanimous) UFC 265 August 7, 2021 3 5:00 Houston, Texas, United States Fight of the Night.
Win 9–1 Renato Moicano KO (punches) UFC 256 December 12, 2020 1 4:05 Las Vegas, Nevada, United States Performance of the Night.
Win 8–1 Marc Diakiese Decision (unanimous) UFC Fight Night: Figueiredo vs. Benavidez 2 July 18, 2020 3 5:00 Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates Fight of the Night.
Win 7–1 Alex White Decision (unanimous) UFC Fight Night: Maia vs. Askren October 26, 2019 3 5:00 Kallang, Singapore
Loss 6–1 Magomed Mustafaev TKO (spinning back kick and punches) UFC Fight Night: Overeem vs. Oleinik April 20, 2019 1 1:26 Saint Petersburg, Russia
Win 6–0 Nurzhan Tutaev KO (body kick) Titan FC 51 December 21, 2018 2 0:51 Almaty, Kazakhstan
Win 5–0 Nandin-Erdene Munguntsooj KO (head kick and punches) Road FC 45 December 23, 2017 1 0:58 Seoul, South Korea Catchweight (158 lb) bout.
Win 4–0 Kim Seung-yeon TKO (knees and punches) Road FC 39 June 10, 2017 1 4:23 Seoul, South Korea
Win 3–0 Suraj Bahadur TKO (punches) Primal FC: Dark Moon Rising March 24, 2017 1 2:30 Phuket, Thailand Catchweight (159 lb) bout.
Win 2–0 Gunduz Nabiev Submission (rear naked choke) Boroda FC October 10, 2016 1 3:40 Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan
Win 1–0 Sam Bastin KO (flying knee) W.I.N FC July 18, 2015 1 N/A Shenzhen, China Lightweight debut.


Muay Thai record Edit

Professional Muay Thai record (incomplete)
39 wins, 29 wins by KO, 8 losses
Date Result Opponent Event Location Method Round Time
2017-09-22 Loss   Leyton Collymore Phoenix FC 3 London, England Decision (Unanimous) 3 3:00
2017-04-21 Win   Yodpayak Sitsongpeenong Muay Xtreme Bangkok, Thailand KO (Right Cross) 2
2017-01-27 Loss   Sorgraw Petchyindee Toyota Marathon, Final Phitsanulok, Thailand Decision 3 3:00
For the Toyota Marathon -154 lbs title.
2017-01-27 Win   Dechrid Sathian Muaythai Gym Toyota Marathon, Semi-final Phitsanulok, Thailand Decision 3 3:00
2016-12-30 Win   Oasis Bangla Stadium Patong, Thailand KO (Right Cross) 2
Wins Bangla Stadium title.
2016-11- Win   Jilas Bangla Stadium, Final Patong, Thailand KO (Flying Knee) 2
2016-11- Win   Michael Bangla Stadium, Semi-final Patong, Thailand TKO (Body Kick) 1
2016-04-29 Loss   Sorgraw Petchyindee Toyota Marathon, Final Chonburi, Thailand Decision 3 3:00
For the Toyota Marathon -154 lbs title.
2016-04-29 Win   Phakhow Darbphong 191 Toyota Marathon, Semi-final Chonburi, Thailand KO (Right Cross) 2
2016-04-29 Win   Ruslan Rybakov Toyota Marathon, Quarter-final Chonburi, Thailand Decision 3 3:00
2016-04-01 Win   Wuttichai Bangla Stadium Patong, Thailand KO (Spinning Back Kick) 2
2016-02-03 Win   Teelek Bangla Stadium Patong, Thailand KO (Punches) 2
2015-12-27 Win   A Kuang Rattanachai Bangla Stadium Patong, Thailand KO (Punches) 1
2015-12-27 Win   Jack Keawpituk Bangla Stadium Patong, Thailand KO (Overhand Right) 1
2015-12-16 Win   Damien Sit.Or Bangla Stadium Patong, Thailand KO (Left Hook) 2
2012-06-28 Win   Rishat Livensho Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan Decision (Unanimous) 3 3:00
2010-05-08 Win   Sergey Kulyaba Mytishchi, Russia Decision 3 3:00
Wins WMF Intercontinental Light Welterweight title.
Legend:   Win   Loss   Draw/No contest   Notes
Amateur Muay Thai record (incomplete)
Date Result Opponent Event Location Method Round Time
2016-05-25 Loss   Denis Kolotygin IFMA World Championships 2016, Semi-final Jonkoping, Sweden TKO 3
Wins 2016 IFMA World Championships (B-class) -71kg Bronze Medal.
2016-05-24 Win   Martynas Jasunias IFMA World Championships 2016, Quarter-final Jonkoping, Sweden Decision 3
2016-05- Win   Facson Perrine IFMA World Championships 2016, Round of 16 Jonkoping, Sweden Decision (Unanimous) 3
2016-05- Win   Serjio Villa IFMA World Championships 2016, Round of 32 Jonkoping, Sweden Decision 3
2011-09-21 Win   Antero Hynynen IFMA World Championships 2011 Tashkent, Uzbekistan Decision 4 2:00
Legend:   Win   Loss   Draw/No contest   Notes

References Edit

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  4. ^ a b "Rafael Fiziev explains beef with Phuket Top Team". asianmma.com. January 19, 2023.
  5. ^ "Рафаэль Физиев: "У каждого мужчины должен быть характер воина!"". sport.kg (in Kyrgyz).
  6. ^ Dawson, Alan (2020-07-19). "Marc Diakiese and Rafael Fiziev collided for an all-out 'Fight Island' war which included a cheat-code, kick-dodging, Matrix move". Business Insider Australia. Archived from the original on 2020-08-21. Retrieved 2020-07-19.
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External links Edit