MMA: Brad Riddell suffers brutal loss to Rafael Fiziev in lightweight fight in Las Vegas

Brad Riddell was aiming for his fifth-straight win since joining the UFC.

Brendon Ratnayake/Photosport

Brad Riddell was aiming for his fifth-straight win since joining the UFC.

Brad Riddell’s unbeaten run in the UFC has come to an end in spectacular fashion at the hands of good friend Rafael Fiziev.

In a battle between two exciting lightweight prospects in the co-main event of UFC Fight Night in Las Vegas, there was nothing in it for two-and-half rounds until Fiziev caught Riddell flush with a wheel kick of which there was no coming back from.

The result snapped a seven-fight win streak for the Kiwi, the last four of which came in the UFC after signing with the world’s premier mixed martial arts promotion in 2019. His only previous defeat came in Australia’s Hex Fight Series in July, 2018, against Abel Brites.

Fiziev, meanwhile, has set himself up for a big 2022 as he continued his momentum with a fifth-straight victory. He is set to leapfrog Riddell when the rankings are next updated after the City Kickboxing fighter entered the bout two spots ahead of Fiziev at No 12.

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The pair know each other well having spent years training together at Tiger Muay Thai gym in Thailand, but were forced to put their friendship aside for a place in the top 10.

Their deep knowledge of each other’s styles showed as they could barely be separated in a technical striking battle before Fiziev stole the show with his moment of magic.

The Kyrgyzstan fighter edged the significant strike count 66-59 while Riddell had the only takedown, with both men sporting significant cuts by the end of the bout.

– MORE TO COME

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