Rafael Fiziev is backing up the hype that surrounded him when he first arrived in the UFC.
In a standup war with Marc Diakiese on Saturday night at UFC Fight Island 2, Fiziev showcased brutal body kicks combined with some eye-popping defense that helped him secure the victory after three rounds. When it was over the judges scored the fight 30-27, 29-28 and 29-28 with Fiziev getting the unanimous decision.
“I win today but from God, everything I have, what God want, I’m happy for this,” Fiziev said following his win.
While Diakiese is well known for his flashy striking style, it was Fiziev who was making the bigger impact on the feet. He avoided Diakiese’s highlight reel combinations by just ducking and dodging out of the way with incredible dexterity.
Fiziev then abused Diakiese’s midsection with a brutal series of kicks. Each time his shin connected with Diakiese’s ribs, a sickening thud would reverberate throughout the empty arena in Abu Dhabi.
It appeared Fiziev was just inviting Diakiese to step into exchanges with him as the lightweights kept launching shots at each other. Diakiese finally started to connect with more accuracy as he upped his output and went headhunting for the finish.
Even when Diakiese landed on target, Fiziev just kept marching forward, throwing huge powerful shots at his opponent until the fight came to an end.
Following a knockout loss in his debut, Fiziev has now rattled off two straight wins, and he will definitely be a lightweight fighter to watch as he moves forward in his UFC career.