The highly anticipated UFC 286 event between Justin Gaethje and Rafael Fiziev was a tantalizing showdown between two fierce strikers known for their kicks and heavy hands.
Gaethje, a skilled wrestler, preferrs to break his opponents on their feet, while Fiziev fired off kicks and combos with lightning speed.
Fiziev started the match with a kick that missed, and Gaethje responded with a leg kick that almost took Fiziev off his feet. Gaethje landed a few more leg kicks, but Fiziev’s speed was giving him issues throughout the opening round. Fiziev landed a huge knee on Gaethje in the first half of the frame, but Gaethje took it well.
In the second half of the round, Gaethje finally broke out his wrestling and attempted a takedown, but Fiziev was hip to the threat, and landed another knee in the final minute. Despite this, Gaethje clipped Fiziev with a punch just before the buzzer.
Fiziev started round two with a jumping knee that missed, and Gaethje responded with an offensive attack. Fiziev showed damage around one eye, but an eye poke by Gaethje gave him time to recover. Gaethje landed a kick upstairs and a leg kick midway through the round, and followed up with a combination that saw every punch land, as Fiziev retreated.
Later in the round, Fiziev had to contend with more low kicks from Gaethje, but managed to land a heavy kick to the body.
Early in the third round, Fiziev had Gaethje hurt, but he managed to recover quickly. Gaethje began to take over in the second half of the round, landing jabs and uppercuts, and Fiziev appeared to be tiring. In the final minute, Gaethje landed the first takedown, securing the best round for him.
When the scorecards were announced, two judges had it 29-28 for Gaethje, while a third ruled it a draw, giving Gaethje the majority decision win.
Despite the loss, Fiziev seemed upbeat afterwards and posted an update for his face. A picture of Fiziev with extensive damage across his face went viral during.
Since 2014, Benny A. King has been fully immersed in the world of combat sports. Starting with a blog about Greco Roman wrestling, Benny’s passion for combat sports has led him to explore various disciplines.