As fun as it was to joke about the battle of Rafaels atop UFC Vegas 58, the reality was, Rafael dos Anjos vs. Rafael Fiziev carried the potential to be a changing of the guard fight.
Former champ RDA still had plenty left in the tank, something he proved by decimating Renato Moicano earlier this year. But Fiziev was the younger man, considered a future player in the UFC’s lightweight division.
Would Saturday be the moment he truly announced his arrival in the weight class?
Round one and both men tried to take the lead in the round. Fiziev worked kicks and RDA fired them right back at him. RDA shot in on a takedown and they ended up clinching on the fence with the former champion trying to pepper the legs and force the takedown. Fiziev was able to get away from RDA and then went in with the jumping knee. After trading nearly identical techniques for a couple of minutes RDA shot in for a takedown once again and was stuffed once again. Fiziev let loose with a combination that forced RDA backwards. RDA tried another takedown as the round ended, but was unsuccessful.
Round two was more of the same from the first round with RDA continuing to try to get the takedown, but Fiziev was able to stop them easily. During one takedown attempt Fiziev was able to throw RDA to the ground, but the former champion got to his feet quickly. It seemed that Fiziev got the best of the exchanges, but barely.
Rounds three and four were more of the same with RDA trying and failing to get the takedown until the end of the fourth when he was able to pick up and slam Fiziev to the ground.
Round five is where the fight ended. A massive left hand landed and dropped RDA and Fiziev only had to land one more for Mark Smith to stop the fight.
Official Result: Rafael Fiziev def. Rafael dos Anjos via R5 :18 KO