This Saturday 2 of the best lightweights in the world will grace the UFC Apex, as former UFC lightweight champion #7 Rafael Dos Anjos (31-13) takes on surging contender #10 Rafael Fiziev (11-1), in a clash that will put both fighters that much closer to title contender status.
The former champ made his return to competition after a 2-year absence this March when he took on and dominantly beat Renato Moicano, he is technically riding a 2 fight win streak (Beat Paul Felder in 2020 before the layoff). RDA has continued to show that he is still committed to the game and hungrier than ever.
During his time with the UFC, RDA has fought at 145, 155, and even 170. Before the Felder fight, he went 4-4 as a welterweight. He was outsized and out-muscled in 4 of those losses, so returning to 155 with a new outlook and mentality will be interesting, to say the least. While he has a tall task ahead of him, RDA still has many options moving forward regardless of the outcome this Saturday. If he wins, I could see the Beneil Dariush materializing yet again, but a loss could still lead him to a massive payday if he faces bad-blood rival #12 Conor McGregor who is returning from loss and injury, as well as being ranked below RDA.
While Rafael Fiziev has 6 fights in the UFC, 4 of them have been awarded performance of the night worthy, his crazy Muay Thai background has not only made him a fan favorite, but his overall personality has won many fans over. Rafael is 11-1 and suffered his first career loss in his UFC debut.
But for a fighter who had a 29-4 Muay Thai record, this was just another speed bump that would eventually make him an even better fighter. Since dropping his first loss, he has embarked on a 5 fight win streak beating fighters like Bobby Green, Renato Moicano, Marc Diakiese, Alex White, and most recently a highlight Spinning kick vs Brad Riddell.
One would assume that a win for Rafael would propel him to #7 on the rankings and ensure that he begins facing the top 5 levels of competition. Even a fight vs #8 Mateusz Gamrot (21-1) would be a great way to settle who should get into the top 5.