UFC lightweight champion Rafael Fiziev strangely called out tennis superstar Rafael Nadal after defeating Rafael dos Anjos in Las Vegas on Sunday, July 10.
Fiziev is the first fighter from Azerbaijan to compete in the UFC and defeated Rafael dos Anjos with a flawless knockout. Having cleared one Rafa out from combat sports, the champion made a bizarre statement when he said that he wants to dispose of another Rafa so that he himself can be regarded as the best Rafa across all sports.
“I want to say, now we know who is the best Rafael in the UFC, now we know, and now I wanna make a new challenge who is the best Rafael in sport, Rafael Nadal, come here, come here,” Fiziev said in his post-match interview.
Fiziev then went on to raise the ante even further and claimed that he could beat Nadal at tennis too. “Rafael Nadal, where him? I can beat him in his sport too,” he added.
Your move, @RafaelNadal 😂 🎾
— UFC (@ufc) July 10, 2022
This isn’t the first time that Fiziev has called out someone for a fight. He had previously targeted social media celebrity Hasbulla Magomedov and comedian Vince Vaughn.
The 29-year-old received a performance bonus of $50,000 after defeating the former lightweight champion. This performance keeps Fiziev in champion contention for the near future. He has already won six consecutive bouts and will most likely replace dos Anjos as the seventh-ranked lightweight star in UFC.
Nadal on the other hand, had to bow out of the Wimbledon semi-finals against Nick Kyrgios due to a ruptured abdominal muscle. Nadal bowing out is the first time a man has withdrawn from the oldest Grand Slam tournament before the semi-finals or finals since 1931.
While it’s extremely unlikely that the UFC fighter will face Nadal in the octagon, he seemed absolutely determined to take Justin Gaethje in his next matchup. Fiziev stared down the camera lenses during his post-fight press conference and said that he will “destroy” the American when they face each other in the Octagon.