When Rafael Fiziev breaks bones, it only seems to galvanize his spirit even more.
The surging UFC lightweight actually fought with a torn knee across his first pair of Octagon forays.
Fiziev alongside his manager Sayat joined Frank Hickman withThe AllStar’s John Hyon Ko at Kataturk in Phuket, Thailand for a lovely dinner and combat conversation.
Fiziev’s manager Sayat stated to The AllStar, “He fought with a torn knee for like a year and a half. He had like three fights. Two fights in the UFC with a torn knee…After the second fight, he got the surgery.”
Reflecting on this tumultuous time, Fiziev said, “It’s not easy time in my life. Because always in the training it’s always like (crunching sounds). Then the next day it blows up, inflammation and the pain.”
After going 1-1 with the damaged leg he got things fixed properly and is presently riding a five-fight winning streak in UFC competition.
Similar instances of gutting through meaningful injuries to compete took place for Fiziev long before the UFC call ever came his way.
In Fiziev’s ROAD FC tenure, he ended up consciously breaking his hand for free surgery.
Against “Keyboard Warrior” Seung Yeon Kim at ROAD FC 39 back in 2017, Fiziev said he was rushed by officials backstage due to miscommunication to prepare to fight. He haphazardly wrapped his hands to pass the inspection and knocked out Kim at the end of the first round simultaneously snapping a bone in his hand.
A break severe enough where the bone in his hand began taking on more of an arching shape.
When describing this period, Fiziev said, “When I train everyday pain.”
Since he couldn’t afford the medical procedure, he had to injure himself in the next fight against Nandin-Erdene at ROAD FC 45 five months later. This was done so the insurance would cover the cost of surgery.
“When we go to second fight in ROAD FC, we talk with Sayat and say hey, we need to make a surgery here…in Korea because it’s expensive in Thailand. We need to break this again. But break this with last punch. Like try to make last punch and break this.”
Fiziev jokingly said during the group meal that he tried to break his hand on the way down when he was pursuing a finish in that bout.
Luckily, he did re-break his hand on the last barrage and was transported to Wonju to repair any damage. ROAD FC had a thorough in-house medical facility that was able to heal Fiziev with no monetary dent made following the procedure.
During his time in the hospital, Fiziev immersed himself in Korean cuisine. He ate a lot of kimchi. It has become a favorite of his.