Streaking UFC lightweight up-and-comer Rafael Fiziev captured his fifth straight victory last Sat. night (Dec. 4) in Las Vegas by knocking out fellow 155-pound bruiser Brad Riddell as part of the UFC Vegas 44 MMA event on ESPN.
The bonus-winning performance was enough to push the 28 year-old Fiziev to No. 11 in the promotion’s official lightweight rankings, sandwiched between longtime veterans Diego Ferreira (No. 12) and Gregor Gillespie (No. 10).
“Rafael Fiziev being ranked No. 11 is a joke,” manager Daniel Rubenstein wrote on social media. “You’re seriously telling me after his last five performances, you aren’t ranking him No. 6 right behind (Michael) Chandler? Come on.”
Ranking Fiziev at No. 6 would put the 11-1 “Ataman” above ex-lightweight champions Rafael dos Anjos and Conor McGregor, as well as established veterans Dan Hooker and Tony Ferguson — a tall task without first beating any of them.
Perhaps the promotion can match Fiziev against someone in the Top 10 when the Kyrgyzstan export makes his Octagon return in early-to-mid 2022. As of this writing, Dos Anjos, Hooker, and Ferguson remain unbooked.