The top-ranked UFC lightweight contender is coming off an impressive win over former champion Rafael dos Anjos in July. Fiziev endured an all-out war with the grizzled veteran before securing a vicious fifth-round knockout of dos Anjos. Following the contest, Fiziev revealed that dos Anjos broke his nose, an injury he suffered for the first time in his professional career.
Fiziev underwent surgery to get his nose fixed and needed some time off. Around the same time, fan favorite Gaethje had also gone through a similar operation to heal his nose after his title loss to top contender Charles Oliveira in May at UFC 274.
At the post-fight press conference for UFC Vegas 58, ‘Ataman’ called out Gaethje for a fight next.
“I want a fight with Gaethje, like for real,” Fiziev said via MMA Fighting. “Nadal is funny … but Gaethje, if he wants to fight, yeah, this one.”
Fiziev Hits Gaethje Below the Belt in Latest Callout
The Tiger Muay Thai gym coach doubled down on his hunt for Gaethje with a low blow in the latest challenge, tweeting: “BREAKING: video of @Justin_Gaethje negotiating his next fight with Conor on his boat!”
He attached a now-deleted video the ‘Notorious’ had uploaded of himself on his yacht. The social media world got sent into a meltdown due to the clip, which had fans convinced his wife, the back of Dee Devlin’s head appeared multiple times with McGregor putting his hand on it.
‘Ataman’ followed up with another message mocking Gaethje, suggesting that he did not want to accept the fight.
“You know why he is ducking,” wrote Fiziev.
Gaethje Is Looking for ’Fair Competition
Gaethje has been out of action since his second unsuccessful attempt for the gold. With other top-five ranked 155-pound fighters booked for a fight, Gaethje is forced to sit out without a suitable opponent. Oliveira will get the chance to reclaim his belt against Islam Makhachev at UFC 280 on Oct. 22. Meanwhile, his former rival, Michael Chandler, is scheduled to settle his differences with former interim champion Dustin Poirier at UFC 281.
The 33-year-old Arizona native got linked to welcome back former two-division champion Conor McGregor in his return to competition. After reports of McGregor being the only athlete yet to be tested by USADA in 2022 came out, Gaethje became hesitant on the idea as he’s looking to compete on a level playing field.
“If everybody would just remember correctly, I fought Cowboy, I beat him and then he fought Cowboy right after that [at UFC 246 in January 2020],” Gaethje told MMA Fighting. “I was primed and ready to go. It sounds to me like he’s off taking steroids right now. He hasn’t been drug tested by USADA in quite some time. I’m looking for fair competition.”
His comments drew a reaction from Fiziev, who made his case for a showdown with him, writing, “USADA tested me 6 times this year, I’m available for fair competition bro @Justin_Gaethje unless you worried my skills will make it unfair.”