Dos Anjos Falls to Fiziev’s Late Knockout; Volkanovski’s Thumb Injury Stuns Fans

Rafael Fiziev’s Impressive Victory in UFC on ESPN 39

Rafael Fiziev showcased his skill and determination by securing a fifth-round knockout against former champion Rafael dos Anjos in the main event of UFC on ESPN 39. With this victory, Fiziev extended his winning streak to six consecutive fights.

The Power of Fiziev’s Knockout

In a dramatic fashion, Fiziev landed a powerful left hook just 18 seconds into the final round, ultimately leading to the knockout that brought an end to the fight. Despite the thrilling finish, it’s worth noting that Fiziev was leading on two of the three scorecards, with a score of 39-37, before entering the final round.

Fiziev displayed excellent defense against dos Anjos’ takedown attempts and consistently delivered impactful strikes throughout the duration of the fight. Contrary to popular belief, Fiziev emphasized that his wrestling skills are not to be underestimated, stating, “My wrestling is not so bad like everyone thinks. If somebody takes me down, I’m ready to stand up. He takes me down again, I’m ready to stand up again.”

Fiziev’s Callouts: Rafael Nadal and Justin Gaethje

In a moment of excitement following his win, Fiziev took the opportunity to call out a surprising opponent – tennis superstar Rafael Nadal. With a touch of playfulness, Fiziev declared, “Now we know who the best Rafael is in the UFC. Now I want to make a challenge: Who is the best Rafael in sport? Rafael Nadal, come here.”

Later, Fiziev made a more realistic callout to Justin Gaethje, another well-known MMA fighter. He expressed his interest in a potential fight with Gaethje, asserting, “You know I want to fight with [Justin] Gaethje. That’s a good match for you and me. If you’re ready, and you’re not scared, don’t talk shit, and let’s go.”

UFC Featherweight Champion Alexander Volkanovski’s Injury

Alexander Volkanovski, the current UFC featherweight champion, revealed on Twitter that he suffered a broken left thumb during his recent title defense against Max Holloway at UFC 276. The champion mentioned that he will undergo surgery to address the injury and expects to be out of action for approximately 12 weeks.

Despite the broken thumb, Volkanovski showcased his resilience and determination during the fight, dominating Holloway in all five rounds and earning a unanimous victory on all three scorecards.

Chris Wade’s Critique of PFL Playoff Pay Scale

Featherweight competitor Chris Wade recently voiced his concerns regarding the pay scale for the Professional Fighters League (PFL) playoffs. As the top seed in the featherweight division, Wade expressed his frustration, stating that he is facing a significant pay cut compared to his regular-season fights.

Wade finished as the runner-up in the 2021 PFL featherweight division and has now highlighted the financial challenges faced by fighters in the playoffs. He explained that the current fixed purse offered for the playoffs is not sustainable for many athletes, illustrating the potential financial burden of competing internationally and covering expenses such as taxes, travel costs for cornermen, and accommodations.

Wade also disclosed that the PFL threatened to replace him with an alternate if he did not accept the pay reduction in 2021. He further emphasized that fighters’ agreements with the promotion differ, with some receiving bonuses or different pay structures for the playoffs. The PFL chose not to comment on the matter when approached by ESPN.


Rafael Fiziev’s electrifying victory over Rafael dos Anjos showcased his burgeoning talent and striking prowess. With his winning streak intact, Fiziev’s callouts to Rafael Nadal and Justin Gaethje added an unexpected twist to his post-fight celebration. Meanwhile, UFC featherweight champion Alexander Volkanovski’s broken thumb has temporarily sidelined him as he undergoes surgery to mend the injury. Lastly, Chris Wade’s critique of the PFL playoff pay scale highlights the financial challenges faced by fighters in the promotion’s postseason.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

1. What is the significance of Rafael Fiziev’s victory over Rafael dos Anjos?

Rafael Fiziev’s win against Rafael dos Anjos is significant as it extends his winning streak and solidifies his position as a rising talent in the lightweight division. With his impressive knockout, Fiziev showcased his striking ability and ability to handle takedown attempts.

2. Who did Rafael Fiziev call out after his victory?

Following his win over dos Anjos, Fiziev first playfully called out tennis star Rafael Nadal, humorously questioning who the best Rafael is across various sports. Later, in a more realistic callout, he expressed his desire to fight Justin Gaethje, another prominent MMA fighter.

3. What injury did Alexander Volkanovski sustain in his title defense against Max Holloway?

Alexander Volkanovski suffered a broken left thumb during his title defense against Max Holloway at UFC 276. Despite the injury, Volkanovski showcased his determination and skill by winning all five rounds and securing a unanimous victory.

4. Why is Chris Wade unhappy with the PFL playoff pay scale?

Chris Wade voiced his grievances with the PFL playoff pay scale, stating that he is encountering a significant pay cut compared to his regular-season fights. He highlighted the financial challenges faced by fighters, including international travel expenses, cornermen costs, and taxes.

5. How did the PFL respond to Chris Wade’s critique?

The PFL chose not to provide a comment when approached by ESPN regarding Chris Wade’s concerns about the playoff pay scale. The promotion has varying agreements with fighters, which might include bonuses or different pay structures for the playoffs.

Doug I. Jones

Doug I. Jones

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