Rafael Fiziev sees himself one fight away from a title shot if he can get past Rafael dos Anjos.
Fiziev (11-1 MMA, 5-1 UFC) takes on former lightweight champion dos Anjos in the main event of UFC Fight Night on July 9. It’s a pivotal matchup he expects catapults him to the upper echelon of the division.
A win over dos Anjos (32-13 MMA, 20-11 UFC) would mark Fiziev’s sixth straight and the striking specialist thinks a fight with former two-time title challenger Justin Gaethje (23-4 MMA, 6-4 UFC) makes sense for him after it.
“Yeah, if everything goes good I see one more fight and fight for the belt shortly,” Fiziev told Submission Radio. “I see maybe somebody, maybe Gaethje or Poirier after. Poirier’s going to 170, yeah? Maybe Gaethje next one. We’ll see. We’ll see, but after this fight, if all goes well, I want one more fight and then a title shot.”
A fight with Gaethje appears to have added incentive for Fiziev, who’s irked by “The Highlight’s” recent comments post-losses. Gaethje is coming off a first-round submission loss to Charles Oliveira at UFC 274, falling short in his pursuit of gold for a second time.
“Bro, Gaethje, he’s crazy,” Fiziev said. “He smokes a lot, or he eat punches a lot? I don’t know what he does, but sometimes he talks sh*t and then I don’t understand him. ‘Oh, I’ll make hell for Khabib.’ What you make hell for him? What? You’re going for a triangle and you’re going to sleep, and same with Oliveira.
“He’s just talking. I don’t like when people are just talking and not do this. Yeah, OK, you can make one time talking and you can’t make it, and afterwards, stop. Stop talking. But this guy, he’s not stopping. He doesn’t stop. He’s just talking and talking and talking.”