Most fighters won’t share sparring footage in the buildup to an actual fight which is a shame because we would love to see the manoeuvre that Rafael Fiziev is attempting to pull off here. Tiger Muay Thai shared photos on Instagram of the lightweight attempting something which looks like it is straight out of a Matrix movie.
His sparring partner doesn’t appear to have seen it either. His feet are firmly planted and his entire body is facing in the wrong direction as he twists around to see Fiziev spinning towards him off a wall.
Fortunately there was a photographer there to capture the moment for posterity:
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Fiziev is set to face Justin Gaethje at UFC 286 next month. It is the biggest fight of his career and, as normal, he has been preparing for it in Phuket.
The 29 year old has won six UFC fights in a row and is currently ranked #6 in the lightweight division. Gaethje is at #3 meaning that one more win for Fiziev would put him firmly in title contention.
The Kazakh is a Muay Thai veteran who took on some of the biggest names in his division in Thailand in the days before he became a UFC star. He seems to have picked up a trick or two along the way and will be looking to showcase his skills in London next month.
FIZIEV IS IN THE MATRIX #UFCFightIsland2 pic.twitter.com/VT6XYxqX44
— UFC Canada (@UFC_CA) July 19, 2020
While detailing a dispute with a former gym Fiziev gave an insight into the struggles he endured during his early days as a fighter. In 2016 and his pregnant wife were living in a 10 square metre room in Phuket while trying to make a living from regional MMA and Muay Thai fights.
The dispute with Phuket Top Team seems to revolve around the room with the camp adamant that Fiziev still owes rent for it. For his part the fighter is adamant he was offered free accommodation by the gym.
But Fiziev has earned a $50,000 USD bonus for each of his last five UFC fights so wherever the Kazakh is living now is likely to be a lot bigger. He has come a long way since his early days in Thailand but one thing that has remained consistent is the ability to pull out moves which are straight out of a Matrix movie!