Justin Gaethje edges Rafael Fiziev in violent bloody war at UFC 286

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Justin Gaethje defeated Rafael Fiziev in an extremely exciting lightweight battle in the UFC 286 co-feature attraction at London’s O2 Arena. The Human Highlight Reel took the fight via majority decision with scorecards of 29-28, 28-28 and 29-28.

Gaethje opened up with a massive trademark leg kick that buckled Fiziev’s knee. Fiziev responded with kicks to the body as he began to set up a looping overhand right that narrowly missed on multiple occasions.

The Azerbaijani remained patient though and early on it was clear he held the speed advantage. Uppercuts were his best weapons in the opener as Gaethje rolled low. Late in the round, Fiziev landed a well-timed knee but Gaethje came back throwing hell to the wind with a wild flurry of hooks. A fun first round that Fiziev should have won.

Into the second stanza, Fiziev began to open up as he grew in confidence with every second. After a short break for an eye poke from the American, Fiziev charged forward and swarmed his foe.

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— UFC (@ufc) March 18, 2023

But as he advanced it allowed Gaethje to clinch and land some good dirty boxing. The striking numbers at the end of the second were close but still in Fiziev’s favour. Close round, pick em stanza.

Round three saw Gaethje staggered by a massive overhand right from Fiziev. For a moment it looked as though Gaethje was going to shoot for a takedown, but the fan favourite opted to stand and bang.

Fiziev started to slow at the mid-way point allowing Gaethje to establish his jab. The lead hand set up a variety of boxing combinations that snapped back Fiziev’s head, finding particular success with a jab-right uppercut string. Right at the death Gaethje landed a takedown to undoubtedly secure himself the round.

Post-fight, the all-American wrestler, who rarely uses his grappling joked: “I got my takedown, everybody can shut the f*** up now,” in reference to his last gasp double leg.

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