On a fairly weak card, this fight is by far the most interesting one on it. On one side you have what seems to be a new breed of Striker in Fiziev. From a striking perspective it just seems that he does everything right. Being a striker myself, things I search for are timing, placement, footwork and efficiency. He seems to be as polished a striker as you can get using perfect fundamentals, tied with his own flare of flash when it is organically needed in the barriers of the fight.

With an overall record of 11-1, the only tarnish on his record was against Mustafeav in his debut where he was caught in the very first round. Since then, Fiziev has left the past behind him leaving a trail of victims in his wake. Tying together a 5 fight win streak, Fiziev gets his crack at the toughest test of his career in a Main Event Spot against an incredibly seasoned fighter in RDA. With 7 KOS and 1 Submission, Fiziev has scattered power that is distributed at all the right times. He knows when to touch you with nagging stabbing shots, and when to unload the clip with intent. To say that he is a very cerebral striker is actually a bit of an understatement. However, the measurement of a striker is not only his ability to fire off offense, but the ability to avoid offense coming back at him in return. Although he is hittable in spots, he does a very good job alluding the brunt of strikes coming back at him.With that said, the question marks of Fizievs overall game still does loom in darkness a bit. We know that he is a master technical striker, but how is his overall grappling if he really needs to use it in a dire situation? We really don’t know just yet. He never really faced anyone that tested him there like RDA can and most likely will. Also, his conditioning is still a major question mark in the championship rounds. (4th and 5th). This is his first 5 round fight of his career, and to be honest, he did not look all that good in round 3 of his fight with Bobby Green. The last round of that fight Fiziev became extremely hittable by telegraphed shots, and he began to get sloppy on his attacks and approaches. He clearly lost round 3, and if it were a 5 round fight, I am confident Green would have ran away with it in 4 and 5. There are reasons why he did get a bit tired in that fight though. Let me explain. Green is not a stationary fighter, and he never gives you the same look more than a few times. In turn, you need to keep a certain pace in order to hunt Green down, which will cause you to dump more energy than normal when fighting a traditional stationary fighter. Laying a bead on him is very hard, so the only way to keep him on his heals is to keep hunting. That becomes exhausting and sets a pace higher than normal. However, Green did not attack his hips at all in that fight, so you have to wonder how much his energy bar will drop with RDA pursuing takedowns. Defending RDA from taking you down will require much more energy than the cat and mouse game that he played with Green. It also will work very hard on the lactic acid in the shoulders and arms of Fiziev, making his limbs feel much heavier while slowing down his output in the later rounds. These are all valid concerns with Fiziev, because we haven’t seen him in these situations just yet.

He takes on RDA who has more experience than probably the entire resume of Fiziev combined. With a record of 31-13 RDA has 5 KOS and 10 Submission wins. In 44 fights RDA has only been finished 3 times. 2 by KO and 1 by Submission. He has been in the championship time zone of the 5th round 8 times and 6 of his last 10 fights. He has also been in main event spots 8 times in his UFC career. At 38 years of Age, RDA is not short on what it takes to gut through the big lights of it all. The high pedigree black belt in BJJ and extremely high polished and poised striker has one of the more well balanced games in the division. RDA has been one of my favorite guys to watch for a very long time, and even though he has aged a bit, he is still in fantastic shape riding a 2 fight win streak which includes wins against Paul Felder and a very tough Moicano. He will search for his 3rd win in a row here against a guy that many have slated to be a contender for the belt very soon. A win here can put RDA right back in the mix of conversation, which can be possibly his last very strong argument for a run here. In the wake of all his experience and now back training in the comforts of his home town in Brazil, RDA understands the magnitude of this fight for the trajectory of most likely the closing parts of his career. He also understands that the path to beat Fiziev is laid out in front of him. Fliziev has left little traces of things that should look to be exposed, and RDA is very capable to expose them. People tend to take a little too much stock into training videos with fighters training defenses and certain other elements. It is training, and the videos are only the videos they want you to see. They are not going to show you their fighter getting rag dolled in the gym. On top of it, There is a stark contrast between training and real time situations. You can’t just train an element of fight for a few months and think that you are ready for years of experience in a certain wheel house. It doesn’t work that way. Also, remember when your conditioning is fractured during a fight, things tend to be given up much easier than they would then when you are on a full tank. I see a very clear path here for RDA, and I think I am going to follow that path in my pick. There were a few things in Fizievs game that I saw in the Bobby Green fight that he wasn’t correcting. One major issue was Bobby Green’s success anytime he switched over to southpaw. That look was giving Fiziev issues, and that is where Bobby Green found the majority of his success. RDA is a southpaw at heart and will not switch off unless that lead leg becomes compromised. I am expecting RDA to crash the pocket, take away space, and really just commit to taking this fight to the ground where he will have the clearest advantage of both men in a particular suit. Sure, Fiziev will own the striking exchanges, but the gap in RDA’S striking is nothing compared to his advantage that he will have if he can get this fight grounded. The later rounds tells the tale in this one in a close fight heading into the championship rounds where Fiziev has yet to be chartered to.
Give me RDA by way of Decision

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