The featured prelim of UFC 265 sets up what should be an exciting fight between two lightweights, Rafael “Ataman” Fiziev and Bobby “King” Green. Fiziev, 28 years old, is 9-1 with six KO/TKOs, one submission, and one decision victory. His sole loss was a TKO by Magomed Mustafaev in 2019.
Green, six years older than his foe, is 27-11. His wins are split among eight KO/TKOs, nine submissions, and ten decisions. Four of “King’s” losses have come via finish, two KO/TKO, and two submissions. Both men are stylistically different, but, high-end strikers nonetheless.
Fiziev vs. Green betting odds
Despite neither man being ranked and Fiziev with less experience, he enters Saturday night as a substantial -330 favorite over Green’s underdog price of +255.
Fiziev vs. Green breakdown
Fiziev is a great kickboxer, possibly an elite one. He snaps his kicks so fast and with such power, it’s as if his legs are held back by rubber bands. When he lets the bands go, his legs crack whatever is in front of him. Beyond his kicking game, “Ataman” mixes in solid boxing with cardio to continue a high output. He averages 4.7 significant strikes per minute with a notable 57% accuracy. Despite his 71-inch reach and kicking game that helps him stay at range, he is hittable, absorbing 4.2 significant strikes per minute. With a good chin and often the edge in power and accuracy, Fiziev frequently wins the strike for strike exchanges.
Familiar with a high and accurate output himself, Green averages 5.2 significant strikes per minute with a 51% accuracy. Unlike Fiziev though, many of Green’s strikes are led by his impressively quick jab that he fires from his hip. Also, while Fiziev’s kicks are fast, Green has some of the fastest reflexes in the octagon. He keeps his hands purposely low and relies on his head movement to avoid getting hit. With only two KO losses and at 63% striking defense, Green’s “Mayweather” style of fighting works well for him. On top of the boxing prowess, Green has a strong grappling game in his back pocket that he can call on if he does get stung on the feet. And, with solid cardio, he has a tendency to push the pace in round 3 to turn a close fight into a win.
Fiziev vs. Green prediction
Green’s boxing is impressive, but, I don’t predict it’ll be enough to win. Fiziev is one of the more talented prospects I’ve seen. His striking game is truly impressive and he’s shown a veteran-like demeanor when faced with adversity. Still though, while Fiziev often kicks his opponents to oblivion, I don’t think he’ll get the finish Saturday night. Green is too experienced and too evasive for me to predict that Fiziev comes in and runs him over. But, I do anticipate that the Kyrgyzstan fighter gets the job done.
Prediction: Rafael Fiziev to win by decision
Michael Pounders is a high school English Teacher, a boxer himself, and is a fan who loves, gambles on, and nerds out about all things MMA.