UFC on ESPN+ 7 rookie report: Grading the newcomers in St. Petersburg

Fighters from around the globe dream of the day they’ll step into the UFC octagon for the first time. For six athletes, Saturday’s UFC on ESPN+ 7 event marked that special moment in their career.

Check out this week’s rookie report to see what kind of first impression those fighters made on the sport’s biggest stage from Yubileyniy Arena in St. Petersburg, Russia.

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Rafael Fiziev

Rafael Fiziev

Result: Magomed Mustafaev def. Rafael Fiziev via TKO (spinning back kick, punches) – Round 1, 1:26

Record: (6-1 MMA, 0-1 UFC)

Grade: Incomplete

A former muay Thai stylist, Rafael Fiziev came to the UFC with an undefeated record. Unfortunately for him, the Kyrgyzstan native and Phuket Top Team competitor never really got going against Magomed Mustafaev.

Returning from more than two years on the sidelines, Mustafaev came out like a man possessed for the first fight of the night, spamming spinning techniques like he was a video game character. While Fiziev kept his guard high, Mustafaev still managed to land a spinning back kick with enough force to send his opponent to the mat, jumping on top with punches that earned Mustafaev an 86-second victory and a “Performance of the Night” bonus.

A disappointing debut for Fiziev for certain, but “Ataman” still would seem to have more to show the lightweight division.

Source: USA Today – MMA Junkie

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