The Justin Gaethje vs. Rafael Fiziev UFC 286 fight is bound to be a real barnburner as both fighters are famously fun to watch. Gaethje is trying to make himself relevant again, while Fiziev is hoping to continue to impress.
Justin Gaethje vs. Rafael Fiziev UFC 286 Odds
When, Where, and How to Watch?
- Place: The O2 Arena in London, England
- Date: Saturday, March 18, 2023
- Time: ~10:00 PM ET
- How to Watch: ESPN+
Former Champ Justin Gaethje to Make Himself Relevant Again?
Justin Gaethje is 23-4 overall with all four of his losses happening against champions or interim champions – Eddie Alvarez, Dustin Poirier, Khabib Nurmagomedov, and Charles Oliveira.
Gaethje himself used to be the interim champ of the UFC Lightweight division in 2020 after defeating Tony Ferguson by technical knockout. It was the last time he defeated someone by KO/TKO, which is his No. 1 preferred method of victory. Nineteen of his 23 wins happened this way, while also has one win by submission, and one by decision.
He’s a great striker who’s landing 7.46 significant strikes per minute. Knowing this, it’s no surprise he’s won so many fights by KO/TKO. What is surprising is that he doesn’t have more submission wins in his portfolio, considering that he’s a fine wrestler, who used to compete in NCAA Division I.
Reasons Why Rafael Fiziev is the Favorite at UFC 286
Rafael Fiziev is 12-1 in his pro-MMA career. His only loss happened on his UFC debut when he lost by TKO to Magomed Mustafaev. From there, he went on to win six straight fights, winning the Performance of the Night bonus for three of those. Further, he also won the Performance of the Night bonus on two occasions.
The Azerbaijani fighter is incredibly fun to watch, with some of his moves going viral on social media, the best example being his Matrix-style strike dodging. His strike defense is decent, and he tends to land a lot of punches. Eight of his 12 wins happened by KO/TKO, while he also has one win by submission and two by decision.
Justin Gaethje vs. Rafael Fiziev UFC 286 Prediction
Both fighters throw a lot of strikes in every fight, meaning that it’s very unlikely we’ll see the full five rounds on Saturday. We think one of the fighters is going to get too tired and the other one will take advantage of that. But who is it going to be?
We say Gaethje. He’s got the skills, as well as the experience to win this fight. Our prediction is a TKO win for The Highlight in round 5.
Pick: Justin Gaethje to win by KO/TKO