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Rafael Fiziev celebrates after his knockout victory over Rafael Dos Anjos. Photo: Zuffa LLC

Rising UFC star Rafael Fiziev KOs Rafael dos Anjos, issues bizarre call-out to tennis star Rafael Nadal

  • Rafael Fiziev scored the biggest win of his career on Sunday when he finished Rafael dos Anjos in Las Vegas
  • The rising lightweight, who traded barbs with Conor McGregor this week, challenged tennis great Rafa Nadal to a fight

Rafael Fiziev announced himself as a new lightweight star in the UFC on Sunday, finishing seasoned veteran Rafael dos Anjos at the UFC Apex in Las Vegas.

Fiziev, the first Azerbaijan athlete to compete in the UFC, delivered in the biggest fight of his UFC career, as he knocked out former lightweight champion in the fifth round.

In a bizarre twist, Fiziev then used his post-fight interview with Michael Bisping to challenge another Rafa to a fight – tennis great Rafael Nadal.

“Now we know who is the best Rafael in the UFC. Now I want to make new challenge who is the best Rafael in the sport. Rafael Nadal, come here, come here,” he said.

Fiziev was so confident in his abilities he added that he could also beat Nadal at his own sport. All jokes aside, his victory over the former lightweight champion earned him a US$50,000 performance bonus and a likely bump in the division’s rankings.

Rafael Fiziev on the way to his sixth consecutive UFC win during UFC Fight Night. Photo: Zuffa LLC

Fiziev cruised through the first three rounds but it appeared he was starting to slow down after dos Anjos started forging a comeback in the fourth. All that changed when he unleashed a brutal left hook that whipped dos Anjos’ head around and sent him crashing to the canvas.


The knockout puts Fiziev on a six-fight win streak and closer to bigger fights that could potentially put him in title contention in the near future.

Elsewhere on the card, middleweight graduate of Dana White’s Contender Series, Caio Borralho won a three-round unanimous decision over Armen Petrosyan, while bantamweight prospect Said Nurmagomedov outpointed Douglas Silva de Andrade over three rounds.

Heavyweights Chase Sherman and Jared Vanderaa delivered the action people want from the big men of the Octagon, slugging it out for two-plus rounds until Sherman emerged victorious via third-round TKO.

During the broadcast UFC confirmed reports that Chinese bantamweight prospect Song Yadong will face top contender Cory Sandhagen in the main event of UFC Fight Night on September 17.


The 30-year-old Sandhagen will look to rebound from back-to-back decision losses against T.J. Dillashaw and Petr Yan, his first multi-fight skid of his professional career.

One of the youngest fighters on the UFC roster, Song, 24, has been on a roll since a 2021 and is now riding a three-fight winning streak, which includes a split decision over Casey Kenney, a TKO of Julio Arce, and a knockout of Marlon Moraes.