Rafael Fiziev (left), Justin Gaethje (right)

Justin Gaethje believes he’ll have to have the perfect performance if he’s going to be victorious against Rafael Fiziev in UFC 286’s co-main event on Saturday.

‘The Highlight’ last stepped into the octagon at UFC 274 where he lost out to Charles Oliveira for the lightweight title. Prior to their fight, Gaethje had earned the Fight of the Year accolade in 2021 for his bout against Michael Chandler, where he won via unanimous decision.

The 34-year-old is 6-4 in the UFC since making his debut in 2017 but has earned a staggering 10 post-fight bonuses in eight of those contests. Looking to spoil the party for the American fighter at UFC 286 is Fiziev, who is on an impressive six-fight winning run, which includes five post-fight bonuses.

Speaking to the media this week, Justin Gaethje was asked about his key to victory. Gaethje admitted that Fiziev possesses “crazy” skills and suggested that he must fight the perfect fight in order to be victorious:

“There’s no way around it, he’s got some crazy skills, especially to the untrained eye… I think I can take advantage of certain situations. I think I can create more damage in certain situations too. I think I can control distance better and I’m gonna have to be perfect on Saturday for that to be the case.”

Catch Gaethje’s comments here:

Justin Gaethje says Rafael Fiziev has “some crazy skills,” and he knows he’ll have to be perfect to emerge victorious.Will he? 🤔 #UFC 286 | Predictions: bit.ly/3YVSHLa https://t.co/2HVRMGKIdI

Michael Bisping breaks down a potential method of victory for Justin Gaethje over Rafael Fiziev

Justin Gaethje is considered one of the most exciting MMA fighters on the planet. Whilst his UFC record shows a mixed bag of results, ‘The Highlight’ is always willing to put on a show for the fans.

According to Michael Bisping, however, Gaethje may have to fight an entirely different fight in order to defeat Rafael Fiziev. In a video uploaded to his YouTube channel, Bisping suggested that Gaethje may find success against ‘Ataman’ if he adopts a wrestling-heavy approach to the fight:

“Co-main event, Justin Gaethje versus Rafael Fiziev. What a fight that’s gonna be. Justin Gaethje said this week, ‘I am the most exciting fighter in the UFC.’ And he probably is… The story this week with Justin is: Is he going to wrestle? He’s a tremendous wrestler, he’s got all kinds of accolades and awards and trophies and medals at home, but he never uses it in his fights and that’s what makes him so exciting… Rafael Fiziev is a ridiculously good striker, so this might be the fight where we see Justin pull out the wrestling.”

Check out the video here (3:20):


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