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In the co-main event of the evening, we have an exciting fight in the Lightweight division, as Rafael ‘Ataman’ Fiziev takes on Brad ‘Quake’ Riddell. This is exceptional matchmaking, as both men enter this fight streaking and the winner, is all but assured to crack the top ten of a stacked Lightweight division. After being knocked out in his UFC debut, Fiziev has bounced back with four consecutive wins. Having won a bonus in his last three fights, Fiziev not only is extremely talented, but a crowd pleaser. Meanwhile, Riddell has won seven consecutive fights, four of which came inside the octagon. Despite none of the wins coming via stoppage, Riddell isn’t fun to be locked inside the octagon for fifteen minutes with.

Prediction

This has to be a favorite for ‘Fight of the Night’, as both men are not only strikers, but bonus machines. As I mentioned earlier, Fiziev has won three bonuses, two of which were for Fight of the Night. In four UFC fights, Brad Riddell has won two bonuses, both of which were in Fight of the Night. I can assure you, this is not one to miss. Rafael Fiziev is a dynamic striker, who throws with precision and intent to finish fights. Often implementing leg kicks, Fiziev looks to chop down opponents and pick them apart from the outside. However, there is a case to be made that Fiziev has a questionable gas tank. Despite his output increasing by round, the hands noticeably drop, the explosiveness is no longer there and he’s laboring for much of the third round. It’s a noticeable issue that will need to be shored up against Brad Riddell, who is a cardio machine. Riddell is also an excellent striker, who notably is the striking coach at City Kickboxing. A gym that features the likes of Middleweight Champion Israel Adesanya and Alexander Volkanovski.  

As for a prediction, I’m going with Riddell. While I expect Fiziev to look incredibly sharp out the gate, the durability of Riddell will allow him to weather any initial storm. As the fight wanes on, you’ll begin to see Riddell figure out Fiziev’s timing and land more often. By round three, Riddell’s pressure and cardio will takeover and have Fiziev retreating. In the end, Riddell will walk away the winner via decision.

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