Alex da Silva needs an opponent for UFC Montevideo after Rafael Fiziev pulled out, so we came up with five prospects who could replace Fiziev.
UFC Montevideo had a bantamweight bout that was scheduled for the card as Rafael Fiziev was set to take on Brazilian Alex da Silva in Uruguay. Due to an injury (broken foot) Fiziev, unfortunately, had to pull out. The show must go on and with the event about two weeks away the UFC may find a replacement. Michael Fiedel (writer for TheBodyLockMMA and FloCombat) and I decided on five prospects we’d like to see step in and fight Ricardo Ramos.
Shawn Bitter’s Picks
Valeriu Mircea (22-5-1)
Born in Moldova but living in Rome, Italy, Mircea is currently on a six-fight win streak. With 27 combined fights, Mircea has tons of experience and is still only 25-years-old.
Fighting at 155 for the majority of his career, in his last fight he moved down to 145. In that fight, Mircea won the Eagles Fighting Championship featherweight title. On short notice, I doubt he would have any issue making weight, making 155 so many times.
Mircea is a fun fighter that is always looking for the finish, stopping his foes 18 times. The Moldovan has been in talks with the UFC in the past, so maybe the time is now.
Marif Piraev 28-2-1
Piraev is another fighter with tons of experience with 31 total fights. With an impressive record, Piraev is on an eight-fight win streak. His level of competition has been solid, only taking on five fighters who had a losing record at the time.
At only 26-years-old, the Russian out of Moscow is primed for a UFC opportunity. His two losses were to the former KSW lightweight champ Mateusz Gamrot and to top prospect Tofik Musaev.
You will see so many fighters the UFC will sign on short notice who are too young and not at all ready. That’s not the case with Piraev as he has done more than enough to get in the UFC. It could be a smart decision bringing him in as he’s not yet locked down with an exclusive contract.
Fares Ziam (10-2)
Unlike my other two choices, Ziam doesn’t nearly have as much experience and is still young at 22-years-old. Ziam born in France which is a country that doesn’t have many UFC fighters so that would be a good market to continue the build. He has a key win over The Ultimate Fighter season 22 competitor Abner Lloveras.
Ziam is on a five-fight win streak and through his career won a few titles. “Smile Killer” wants to keep the fight standing so he can use his background as a kickboxer, fighting for the well-known GLORY promotion. Ziam is very long at 6’1″ tall.
Ziam, out of my three, would be the least UFC-ready but he’s fun to watch and has a high ceiling. A fight with Silva will show how good the young Frenchman is.
Next: Michael Fiedel’s Picks