Exclusive: Rafael Fiziev Backs Islam Over Oliveira, Talks Joanna Jedrzejczyk Retirement: “For Women, That’s Not Easy”

'Ataman' believes Islam Makhachev can beat Charles Oliveira and weighed in on Joanna Jedrzejczyk announcing her retirement

Rafael Fiziev, Charles Oliveira, Joanna Jedrzejczyk
Credit: Charles Oliveira & Joanna Jedrzejczyk (via Instagram)
  • Rafael Fiziev has backed Islam Makhachev to beat Charles Oliveira in a title match
  • Fiziev believes Joanna Jedrzejczyk’s decision to retire couldn’t have been easy for her

Rafael Fiziev is slated to take on Rafael Dos Anjos at UFC on ESPN 39.

The number tenth-ranked contender at lightweight, Fiziev believes he’s one more fight away from getting a shot at the promotional gold. With Charles Oliveira stripped of his title after the win against Gaethje, the division currently does not have a champion.

Oliveira stands currently as the top contender and will be competing for the belt in his next bout.

Rafael Fiziev backs Islam Makhachev to beat Charles Oliveira

In an exclusive interview with Middle Easy, Rafael Fiziev shared his thoughts on a potential matchup between Islam Makhachev and Oliveira. He believes Makhachev has a higher chance of coming out on top and deserves the title shot next.

“For me it’s two guys deserve it, Dariush and then Makhachev but if somebody fight with Oliveira, for me that’s good fight, Dariush or Makhachev.

“I think Islam, he’s very good now. I think Islam has more chance because he also has very good grappling. He feel good on the ground.”

 

Fiziev weighed in on Joanna Jedrzejczyk announcing her retirement

This past weekend, Joanna Jedrzejczyk announced her retirement following a knockout loss to Zhang Weili at UFC 275. The Polish icon enjoyed an illustrious career that saw her greatly help advance women’s MMA.

Fiziev believes it couldn’t have been easy for her to hang up the gloves.

“I’m sad, a little bit, for Joanna because loss like this and finish career and I see how she cry, that’s not easy man. For woman, that’s not easy. For men, okay, all men, we’re strong but for women, it’s like… I think she still everyday cry.”

Rafael Fiziev will take on former UFC Lightweight champion Rafael dos Anjos on July 9 at UFC on ESPN 39.

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