Rafael Fiziev is known around the world for his “matrix” defense against kicks. Fiziev, like many up and comers, will be given his chance this summer to compete on Dana White’s Tuesday Night Contender Series.
Rafael Fiziev: The Muay Thai Matrix
One Step Closer to the UFC
Though the 25-year-old only sports a record of 5-0, he has had countless Jiu-Jitsu, Muay Thai, and non-recorded MMA tournaments. Fiziev is well known in the rest of the world for his amazing talents. Now the US audience will get a first-hand view of what the world has already experienced.
Introduction to the Arts
Fiziev began to delve into martial arts by way of Muay Thai. “I started to train Muay Thai when I was 10 years old,” Fiziev told MMASucka. “I moved to Thailand from Kyrgyzstan because I wanted to train with the greatest and in the best MMA team.”
Fiziev trains and coaches out of the world-renowned Tiger Muay Thai & MMA located in Phuket, Thailand. Fiziev has also trained with Phuket Top Team. He would collect 39 wins with 29 coming by knockout before transitioning to MMA. It was not until 2015 that Fiziev began to pick up on MMA.
Pavel Fedotov, the renowned coach of the Shevchenko sisters, Valentina and Antonina, is Fiziev’s biggest influence.“My coach and mentor is Pavel Fedotov and he is also the coach of the Shevchenko sisters,” Fiziev said to MMASucka. Fedotov was in the news in June 2016 when the restaurant Valentina and he were dining at was robbed. Fedotov shot and killed one of the armed robbers while sustaining a bullet wound himself. He does have quite the striking history as a fifth Dan in Taekwondo.
Muay Thai Highlight Reel
Fiziev has always had highlight reel power and knockout ability. During a six month span at Phuket Top Team, Fiziev went 8-1 with seven knockouts. His biggest highlight is the viral video of him using his “matrix defense” to avoid a kick against Sorgaw Petchyindee. The highlight occurred on January 27, 2017 in the finals of the Toyota Marathon in Phitsanulok, Thailand. Petchyindee threw a right kick which Fiziev avoided like he was Neo in The Matrix, bending backward to avoid the contact. The video went viral with over 2 million views and even garnered the attention of Dana White on Instagram.
Here it is again.
Venture into MMA
The venture into MMA has been very successful for Fiziev so far. Currently, he is 5-0 with all five wins coming by first-round finishes. One of those finishes was actually a submission from the deadly striker. Fiziev has looked great in his two Road FC bout, for which he has been in the cage just over five minutes.
In that short time, he has exited the cage with two knockout wins. The last time we saw Fiziev in action was a knockout in under a minute of Nandin-Erdene Mungunstooj at Road FC 45 in December 2017. He has yet to compete in 2018 but was scheduled for a bout with Yincang Bao at Road FC 47 in May 2018, but the fight was canceled. A bigger phone call was on the horizon that may change the life of Fiziev forever, making him a worldwide name.
Dana White’s Tuesday Night Contender Series
Three years into his MMA career and a Fiziev has already received the call for a shot in the UFC. Fiziev will take on Joey Gomez in week 4 of the DWTNCS, which will take place on July 10, 2018. “I want to go to this show and turn [heads,]” Fiziev said. “And do it so that it’s being talked about for a long time.”