Two of the best strikers in the lightweight division are expected to share the Octagon in December.
Farah Hannoun and Nolan King of MMA Junkie have reported that Rafael Fiziev and Brad Riddell have verbally agreed to fight at an upcoming Fight Night event scheduled for Dec. 4 at the UFC APEX in Las Vegas. Although an official announcement from the UFC brass has yet to be made, Fiziev alluded to receiving the fight contract on social media, so that could change very soon.
Fiziev was not successful in his promotional debut against Magomed Mustafaev over two years ago, but has rebounded with four consecutive wins since then. The 28-year-old defeated Alex White and Marc Diakiese by unanimous decision at UFC Fight Night: Maia vs. Askren and UFC Fight Night: Figueiredo vs. Benavidez 2 respectively, with the latter earning him his first performance bonus in the UFC.
Fiziev followed those wins with a stunning knockout of Renato Moicano at UFC 256, where he earned yet another performance bonus. The No. 13 ranked lightweight most recently bested divisional staple Bobby Green by unanimous decision at UFC 265.
Riddell announced his arrival to the promotion with a ‘Fight of the Night’ performance against Jamie Mullarkey at UFC 243. The City Kickboxing pupil went on to beat the aforementioned Mustafaev and Alex da Silva Coelho before he was paired against what would have been his toughest outing thus far in Gregor Gillespie. That fight was canceled over COVID-19 protocols and was not rescheduled.
Riddell returned to action just a few months later and met Drew Dober at UFC 263, where he won an entertaining back-and-forth battle en route to a unanimous decision win. The No. 12 ranked lightweight earned his second performance bonus and extended his win streak to seven.
The lineup for the Fight Night event currently has three fights, with Fiziev vs. Riddell joining Claudio Puelles vs. Chris Gruetzemacher and Alex Perez vs. Matt Schnell.