Justin Gaethje disagrees with Rafael Fiziev’s assessment of their entertaining clash at UFC 286.
During a recent interview with John Hyon Ko for The AllStar, Fiziev reflected on his fight with Gaethje and accused ‘The Highlight’ of only finding success during their scrap due to an eye poke that severely affected his vision for the remainder of the bout.
“He ran away from me for two rounds!” Fiziev said. “He started to (beat) me only after eye poke, because my eye (couldn’t) see anything. There was a big white circle on my right eye all fight. I didn’t see anything with my right eye. He fought only good after the eye poke and round three when I started to tire.
“But he ran away two rounds. He run, run, run. Yeah, maybe my gameplan was sh*t and I did a lot of sh*t in this fight; didn’t listen to my corner, didn’t follow my gameplan. But still, he ran away for two rounds.”
Gaethje, who walked away from the fight with a majority decision victory and snapped Fiziev’s six-fight win streak, recently reacted to the comments, suggesting that he hit ‘Ataman’ so hard that he forgot the facts of the fight.
“Not a good look here,” Gaethje wrote in response to the clip on X. “I hit him so hard he forgot which eye got poked. Your right eye got torched by my right hand kid.”
Rafael Fiziev came up short in his follow-up fight against Mateusz Gamrot after suffering a leg injury in the second round in September. On the flip side, Gaethje earned a second-straight victory via a highlight-reel-worthy KO of Dustin Poirier at UFC 291 to claim the BMF title.
He puts the bragging-rights belt on the line at UFC 300 on April 13 when he meets featherweight fan favorite and former world champion Max ‘Blessed’ Holloway.