Lightweight contender Rafael Fiziev revealed the extent of the knee injury he sustained in his Fight Night headliner with Mateusz Gamrot on Saturday.
Determined to get back into the win column following a majority decision defeat to BMF titleholder Justin Gaethje at UFC 286, ‘Ataman’ stepped into the main event spotlight at UFC Vegas 79 for a high-stakes scrap with fellow top-10 contender Mateusz Gamrot. After a fairly technical opening round between the two, disaster struck in the second when Fiziev threw a right kick to the body of Gamrot.
Almost immediately, Fiziev fell to the canvas in pain forcing the referee to step in and call for the stoppage. Initially, it appeared that ‘Ataman’ may have broken his foot on Gamrot’s elbow, but upon further review, it was revealed that the injury was actually to Fiziev’s left knee.
— UFC_Asia (@UFC_Asia) September 24, 2023
Rafael Fiziev Confirms He Tore His ACL in UFC Vegas 79 Headliner
Taking to Instagram, Fiziev revealed that he suffered a torn anterior cruciate ligament (ACL), an injury that could keep him on the shelf for a year or more.
“I will be back,” Fiziev said. “I’m just sad because I had a very great camp, and I was ready to show my best skills. And I’m sad because it happened only in the second round.
“I can get ready for a loss like that but I’m more than happy, 100 times more happy if it happens in the last round. But I believe I could show in this fight very nice skills. We have plans, but God has different plans. His plan is always the best.”
It’s an undeniably tough blow for Fiziev who finds himself moving down to the No. 7 spot in the lightweight rankings following his second-straight loss inside the Octagon.
Though it’s not the way any fighter wants to win, Mateusz Gamrot will take the victory, moving him to 6-2 inside the Octagon. With his second in a row, ‘Gamer’ could find himself matched up with a top-five opponent in his next outing.