Who is Next for Rafael Fiziev?

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The lightweight division in the UFC is the deepest it has in recent years. With names such as Dustin Poirier, Justin Gaethje, and Charles Oliveira occupying the top spots to contend for current UFC champion Islam Makhachev, it seems to be a bit of a log jam in the rankings.

Meanwhile perennial contenders such as Michael Chandler and Beneil Dariush are just a win or two away from challenging for the title. Further down the rankings, fight fans have Arman Tsarukyan, who is making a case to challenge for top five competition. Even still yet, there seems to be a dark horse in the division many seem to be overlooking. Enter: Rafael Fiziev.

Where Does Rafael Fiziev Go Next?

Fiziev, 30, is the sixth ranked lightweight contender who is coming off a majority decision loss against Justin Gaethje in March.

Since then, the Muay Thai specialist has gone without a dance partner without a dance partner, with the current bookings being Makhachev reportedly rematching Oliveira in October at UFC 294 and Poirier and Gaethje having a rematch of their own this month at UFC 291.

There is a possibility of Fiziev pairing up for a fight against Dariush who is also coming off a loss against Charles Oliveira. Dariush vs Fiziev would be a fun contrast of styles between grappler and striker.

Another name who could possibly be looking for a dance partner soon is Michael Chandler who is supposed to fight a returning Conor McGregor at some point later this year or early next year should McGregor be on track for his return. However, should the Irish superstar opt out of his fight with Chandler, Fiziev would be the perfect opponent to slide in to keep both Chandler and Fiziev active and the division rolling.

And if you thought Gaethje fighting these two heavy hitters was fun, wait for the war ‘Ataman’ Fiziev and ‘Iron Mike’ Chandler would bring in the Octagon.

In all reality, the most likely scenario for Fiziev’s return would be a bout against seventh ranked lightweight Mateusz Gamrot.

The Polish fighter is coming off a thrilling split decision win against Jailin Turner in March.

The two have already flirted with the idea of facing eachother as Fiziev posted on Twitter of needing a dance partner in August to which ‘Gamer’ replied:

Fiziev vs Gamrot would easily be a solid main event for a fight night in September or even the featured bout for UFC 294 in Abu Dhabi.

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