Rafael Fiziev (born March 5, 1993) is an Azerbaijani 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.
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.
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. While he concentrated on Muay Thai growing up, he also took up several other combat sports including combat sambo, boxing, Jiu Jitsu, and wrestling. 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.
Muay Thai career
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.
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.
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.
On September 22, 2017, Fiziev faced Leyton Collimore at Phoenix FC 3 in London, England. He was defeated by unanimous decision.
Mixed martial arts career
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.
Ultimate Fighting Championship
In his promotional debut, Fiziev faced Magomed Mustafaev on April 20, 2019, at UFC Fight Night 149. He lost the fight by first-round technical knockout.
Fiziev next faced Alex White on October 26, 2019, at UFC on ESPN+ 20. He won the fight via unanimous decision.
On August 5, 2020, Fiziev announced on his social media that he had signed a new, four-fight contract with the UFC.
He was scheduled to face Renato Moicano on November 28, 2020, at UFC on ESPN: Blaydes vs. Lewis. However, Moicano pulled out on November 28 after testing positive for COVID-19 and the bout was rescheduled for UFC 256. Fiziev won the fight via TKO in the first round. This win earned him his first Performance of the Night award.
Fiziev faced Bobby Green on August 7, 2021, at UFC 265. He won the fight via unanimous decision. This fight earned him the Fight of the Night award.
He faced Brad Riddell at UFC on ESPN 31 on December 4, 2021. He won the fight via knockout in round three. This win earned him the Performance of the Night award.
Fiziev was scheduled to face Rafael dos Anjos on February 19, 2022, at UFC Fight Night 201. However, the bout was postponed to UFC 272 due to visa issues with Fiziev. One week before the event, Fiziev was again forced to withdraw due to testing positive for COVID-19 and was replaced by Renato Moicano. The bout was rescheduled the third time for UFC on ESPN 39 on July 9, 2022. Fiziev won the fight via knockout in round five. This win earned him the Performance of the Night award.
Fiziev faced former UFC interim Lightweight Champion Justin Gaethje on March 18, 2023, at UFC 286. He lost the back-and-forth fight via majority decision. This fight earned him the Fight of the Night bonus award.
Fiziev faced Mateusz Gamrot on September 23, 2023UFC Fight Night 228. He lost the fight via technical knockout due to knee injury in round two.
Outside of fighting, Fiziev enjoys blacksmithing with an emphasis on cold steel arms. He is a devout Shia Muslim.
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. 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.
Championships and accomplishments
Mixed martial arts
- Ultimate Fighting Championship
- Combat Press
- 2021 Breakout Fighter of the Year
- 2023 March Fight of the Month
- Kyrgyz Muaythai Federation
- 3x Kyrgyzstan Muay Thai Champion (2007, 2008, and 2009)
- International Federation of Muaythai Associations
- 2009 IFMA World Championships Junior
- 2011 Kazakhstan National Champion
- 2016 IFMA World Championships (B-class) -71 kg
- World Muaythai Federation
- 2010 WMF Intercontinental -63.5 kg Champion
Mixed martial arts record
|15 matches||12 wins||3 losses|
|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
|39 wins, 29 wins by KO, 8 losses|
|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|
|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|