You might have heard about friends-turned-foes a lot of times in the UFC, haven’t you? From the training partners Ngannou and Gane to Masvidal and Covington. No friendship has lasted long in this guard-your-back tournament.
You would group Rafael Fiziev and Brad Riddell in that group too, but that would be a mistake! These best friends have trained and sparred together and have seen ups and lows with one to look after the other. So, it came as a surprise to many when they decided to fight each other in the arena.
In an official statement from Rafael, he was heard saying, “He called me, and we talked with him, and we said yes together, and after I started to think, like, ‘Oh, this guy, I like him.’ We’re like friends, you know? We trained together, but how can we fight? Well, I talked with myself, you know, like, ‘Why not? I’m helping him to make money now, and he’s helping me.’”
Both the parties were part of Thailand’s Tiger Muay Thai long before entering the UFC, and they have been friends ever since. This connection from their past made finalizing the fixture even easier, according to Brad Riddell. “We knew we were going to fight each other eventually,” Riddell stated in an interview with The MMA Hour, “Obviously, we both had the intention of getting to like, you know, the top five, so we thought that we’d bump into each other, maybe in the top five a bit later or something like that, but there wasn’t too much of an option other than to accept this fight,” Riddell confessed.
“We are again friends, because men, after a fight, are always more close”, Rafael Fiziev on fighting Brad Riddell
Although it might seem like both the fighters might hold back, considering they are friends, both the parties quashed these beliefs and promised: “The best fight ever.” Both of the lightweight superstars are looking forward to this matchup and the duo also has the capability to bring forth an all-out brawl.
So, will these buds be at each other’s necks and raining blows at one another? The answer seems to be affirmative and justifiably so because holding back is a sign of disrespect to the fighter, according to both the fighters. Fiziev also stated that he is willing to put aside their friendship for 15 minutes or less. His enthusiasm for winning is clearly seen here! What can one expect from this fight? No one knows, but there’s gonna be entertainment galore!
Rafael Fiziev has talked a lot about this upcoming fight with the media in a press conference. Check out the video below to watch the entire interview.