UFC lightweight contender Rafael Fiziev is a multi-time Muay Thai champion out of Kazakhstan and currently lives and trains in Phuket, Thailand, where “Ataman” serves as kickboxing coach for the world renowned Tiger Muay Thai academy.
But with all his championships and international accomplishments, perhaps the 29 year-old striker can still learn a thing or two from former lightweight champion Conor McGregor, who commented on a recent “Matrix” video, featuring the defensive moves of Fiziev.
“This is awesome,” McGregor wrote. “Change the roundhouse to an axe kick. Roundhouse into an axe kick and this defense eats the full of the heel. I’m telling you. If their reaction to a high kick is this, implement the axe.”
Check out more of Fiziev’s high-level Muay Thai skills below:
Fiziev, however, was not impressed with the “Notorious” tip.
“Conor, I invite you to Tiger Muay Thai where we can show you how to kick and defend the kicks properly so you can stop living in fantasy world where you think it’s possible to land an axe kick in this situation,” Fiziev responded.
Narcissistic injury results in narcissistic rage, and unfortunately for Fiziev’s timeline, “Notorious” spent the next two hours responding to the “Fantasy World” comment. Because how dare someone reject advice from the almighty McGregor?
“I’m not disrespecting. I’m telling you, I’ve faced this defense habit a lot in my time where I knew every high kick I threw was being pulled back from and hitting air,” McGregor fired back. “I then began changing to an axe kick and came down on top with great success. That or the running roundhouse.”
“Thank you for the offer. When I am in Thailand, I will head there for sure! Don’t disrespect as you are yet to do anything significant in this sport. Good luck in your upcoming fight. ‘Fantasy world’ is thinking that this major defensive habit you have developed is impenetrable. It is, very much so penetrable. Habits are opportunities to set traps. Good luck.
“Sir, all due respect. I didn’t do all I have done in this business by living in ‘fantasy world.’ I done it through in-depth personal study. Dissecting movement patterns and habits and capitalizing off of them with devastating results. Have respect, I have not disrespected you.”
Fiziev is scheduled to make his Octagon return against former lightweight champion Rafael dos Anjos in the UFC Vegas 58 main event this Sat. night (July 9, 2022) at APEX in Las Vegas, where “Ataman” will look to capture his sixth straight win.
McGregor, still recovering from a broken leg suffered in a technical knockout loss to Dustin Poirier — his second straight — is not expected back until early 2023. As of this writing, “Notorious” is ranked two places behind Fiziev at No. 12.