Gaethje (23-4 MMA, 6-4 UFC) will face Fiziev (12-1 MMA, 6-1 UFC) in the co-main event of UFC 286 on March 18 in London. The main card airs on pay-per-view after previews on ESPN and ESPN+.
The former interim lightweight champion has been at the top of the division since joining the UFC roster but failed in his second attempt at the title. vs. Charles Oliveira in May 2022, Cormier believes that this fight is mandatory for Gaethje.
“Justin Gaethje is a guy who can kill or be killed,” Cormier said on his ESPN show.direct current and radio control“. “His mentality does not change. He is just a crazy fighter who just likes to be in the spotlight and I know the same about Rafael Fiziev. It’s interesting, but it’s also one of those fights where there could be a changing of the guard because if Gaethje loses this fight, it’s going to be very difficult for him to regain the spot and the respect he holds at lightweight. ”
Fiziev hasn’t lost since losing his UFC debut to Magomed Mustafaev – the only loss on his record. The Muay Thai specialist has knocked out three of his last five opponents, and most recently starched former lightweight champion Rafael dos Anjos in his first UFC main event on ESPN 39.
Twitter reaction to the knockout of Rafael Fiziev by Rafael dos Anjos at UFC on ESPN 39
2021 MMA Junkies Fight of the Year: Justin Gaethje vs. Michael Chandler