Monster Energy congratulates Justin Gaethje on defeating Rafael Fiziev by majority decision in the Lightweight Division fight at UFC 286 in London, United Kingdom.
LONDON, March 19, 2023 /PRNewswire-PRWeb/ — ‘The Highlight’ strikes again! Monster Energy congratulates Justin Gaethje on defeating Rafael Fiziev by majority decision in the Lightweight Division fight at UFC 286 in London, United Kingdom.
In Saturday night’s co-main event fight inside O2 Arena, the 34-year-old from Denver, Colorado, went the distance for three rounds to clinch the victory by majority decision (29–28, 29–28, 28–28). The brutal battle also won the UFC’s ‘Fight of the Night’ bonus with a $50,000 payout, marking the seventh ‘Fight of the Night’ honor in Gaethje’s career.
UFC 286: Edwards vs. Usman 3 was contested in front of 18,321 spectators in attendance inside the sold-out O2 Arena. The fight was attended by Hollywood A-listers, including Miles Teller, Jared Leto, and Tom Holland. UFC 286 prelims were broadcast live on ESPN+, and the main card aired on ESPN pay-per-view.
Monster Energy’s Gaethje (24-4) came to London looking to return to the winner’s bracket after a loss in his UFC Lightweight Championship challenge to Charles Oliveira at UFC 274 in May 2022. Saturday’s opponent, professional mixed martial artist, and Muay Thai fighter Rafael Fiziev (12-2) from Azerbaijan stepped into the Octagon on a six-fight victory streak after most recently defeating Rafael Dos Anjos in July 2022.
Right from the opening bell, both fighters collided with reckless power, Gaethje almost knocking Fiziev clean off his feet with the first kick. But Fiziev returned fire with powerful striking and heavy body kicks of his own, as the fight unfolded as an all-out war on the feet with both fighters landing big shots. Proving his toughness, Gaethje absorbed blows to the neck and head that would have sidelined other fighters.
While the first two rounds saw Gaethje and Fiziev holding their ground, the tables turned in Gaethje’s favor in Round 3. Living up to his reputation as the hardest-hitting striker in the UFC, Gaethje dealt massive damage to visibly bloody Fiziev. By the start of the final round, the Azerbaijani’s left eye was severely swollen with blood running over his face while Gaethje kept connecting punishing left jabs.
A heavy uppercut from Gaethje less than 30 seconds before the end stunned Fiziev. In the final moments of the fight, Gaethje took his opponent to the mat and finished the three-round war controlling from the top. It was the exclamation mark on an outstanding performance, earning Gaethje the victory by majority decision (29–28, 29–28, 28–28).
Back in the winner’s column, Gaethje also clinched his seventh ‘Fight of the Night’ bonus with a $50,000 payout for the three-round slugfest.
“I’m taking one more run at the title, but I won’t be around for much longer,” said Gaethje in his post-fight interview at UFC 286 in London. “So, I’m so glad you guys could be here to enjoy this with me. Thank you, guys.”
Currently ranked in third place in the UFC’s Lightweight Division, Gaethje floated the idea of a rematch against Dustin Poirier in his interview, with the goal of another title shot after. “I fought like a complete idiot when I fought Oliveira, so I’d love to have that fight back, but Dustin is a good option.” Stay tuned for more from ‘The Highlight’!
Justin Gaethje counts amongst Monster Energy’s elite UFC athletes along with Kamaru Usman, Jon “Bones” Jones, Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone, Jorge “Gamebred” Masvidal, Chris “The All American” Weidman, Rose Namajunas, Tony Ferguson, Marlon Vera, Joanna Jędrzejczyk, Maycee “The Future” Barber, Paulo “The Eraser” Costa, Stipe “Stone Cold” Miocic, Michael Chandler, Jessica-Rose Clark, Valentina Shevchenko, Sean “Suga” O’Malley, Brandon Moreno, Daniel Rodriguez, Alex Pereira, Punahele Soriano, Gilbert Burns, Giga “Ninja” Chikadze, and Islam Makhachev.
About Monster Energy
Based in Corona, California, Monster Energy is the leading marketer of energy drinks and alternative beverages. Refusing to acknowledge the traditional, Monster Energy supports the scene and sport. Whether motocross, off-road, NASCAR, MMA, BMX, surf, snowboard, ski, skateboard, or the rock and roll lifestyle, Monster Energy is a brand that believes in authenticity and the core of what its sports, athletes, and musicians represent. More than a drink, it’s the way of life lived by athletes, sports, bands, believers, and fans. See more about Monster Energy including all of its drinks at http://www.monsterenergy.com.
Kimberly Paige Dresser, Indie Agency, Inc., (949) 300-5546, [email protected]
SOURCE Monster Energy