Rafael Fiziev is ranked #6 in the Lightweight division and holds a professional record of 12-2 with nine finishes. He's one of the most exciting strikers in the division, coming off a close fight against the #3 ranked Justin Gaethje at UFC 286, and it's getting to the point where we should be expecting a fight announcement soon. Let's look at some likely opponents for his next bout.
The most viable opponent for Fiziev's next bout is the #7 Lightweight Mateusz "Gamer" Gamrot. Gamrot is a talented grappler fighting out of Poznań, Poland, with a professional record of 22-2. His most notable UFC moments come against his high-level fights vs. Beniel Dariush, Arman Tsarukyan, Guram Kutateladze, and Jalin Turner. Furthermore, he's also a former KSW double champion, holding belts in both the Featherweight and Lightweight divisions.
The two are both extremely talented Lightweights, and you can expect the stereotypical "striker vs. grappler" matchup here, albeit at the very highest level. Both fighters have agreed to fight on Twitter, including accepting five rounds.
Another fighter currently tearing through the Lightweights is Arman "Akhalkalakets" Tsarukyan, ranked #8 in the Lightweight division. The Armenian only has UFC losses to the current Champion, Islam Makhachev, and prior mentioned Mateusz Gamrot. He's an elite wrestler with dangerous striking, including a lethal rear-body kick. Tsarukyan holds wins over Damir Ismagulov, Joel Alvarez, and Matt Frevola, and if he can get through his next fight against Joaquim Silva, he'll be eyeing a highly-ranked fight next.
This fight would be a massive treat for the fans, and the winner would factor in nicely to receive a top-5 opponent next.
Another possible matchup for Fiziev is the winner of the fight between Turner and Hooker. The two are scheduled to face each other on the mard card of UFC 290. Turner ranked #10, is a dangerous finisher with heavy hands and slick submissions. Hooker is a hard-hitting veteran with eighteen career finishes, most known for his highlights in 2020, where he secured back-to-back fight of the year contenders vs. Paul Felder and Dustin Poirier.
Either man would be a welcome challenge for Rafael Fiziev. The matchup would be a barn burner, with all three fighters being incredibly talented and powerful strikers.
We've listed some opponents here, but who would you like Fiziev to face next? As a member of the Verdict Community, let us know your thoughts by dropping a comment below.