Las Vegas, NV — It happens every so often in MMA: friends and training partners facing off. That’s the case with Brad Riddell vs. Rafael Fiziev at UFC Vegas 44 this weekend, but it’s a situation the pair knew would come eventually.
“We knew we were going to fight each other eventually,” Riddell told media outlets including Cageside Press during Wednesday’s media day promoting the ESPN card. “Obviously we both had the intention of getting to the top five, so we thought that we’d bump into each other maybe in the top five a bit later or something like that.”
“Quake” went on to add that “there wasn’t too much of an option other than to accept this fight.” As fight fans now know, the New Zealand native took the fight after giving his pal Fiziev a call. “We had a talk, and decided to fight.”
Now, he’ll have to figure out a fighter with an interesting striking skillset that he’s trained alongside in the past.
“I’ve seen similar styles, but his is unique. He’s got like a funky way of moving, and he’s got some offbeat timing with his striking,” said Riddell. “But I’m pretty confident that I have the experience to deal with it. I’ve come across it before, or similar people, the way they fight. It’s going to be a fun puzzle to figure out on the night.”
Riddell also knows he could be in for a lengthy, Fight of the Night style war. “I am prepared for it to possibly be a battle. It’s always nice getting the Fight of the Night bonus if you’re not too beaten up. It’s not nice getting beat up every single time you fight. Like I said, it’s going to be a very tricky fight. Everybody knows it could be stopped very quickly, or it could be a very painful, long night.”
Watch the full UFC Vegas 44 media day appearance from Brad Riddell above. The event takes place this Saturday, December 4, 2021 at the Apex in Las Vegas. More coverage from Wednesday’s media day can be found below.