Justin Gaethje bloodies Rafael Fiziev, edges out majority decision

LONDON – Justin Gaethje rallied late to edge out Rafael Fiziev.

Gaethje (24-4 MMA, 7-4 UFC) snapped Fiziev’s (12-2 MMA, 6-2 UFC) winning streak by earning a majority decision win on Saturday. The lightweight bout was the UFC 286 co-main event at The O2 in London.

Gaethje was awarded Rounds 2 and 3 by one judge, and a second gave him Rounds 1 and 3. The third judge gave Fiziev Rounds 1 and 2, but gave Gaethje a 10-8 in Round 3, which caused a draw on his scorecard.

To start off Round 1, Fiziev fired with a body kick, but the first leg kick out of Gaethje drew a big reaction from Fiziev. Fiziev pressured and continued to attack the body. Both men threw heavy leather and landed. Gaethje shot for a takedown, but Fiziev was wise to it. To close out the round, Fiziev landed a big knee up top.

Fiziev landed two big body shots to kick off Round 2. An accidental eye poke by Gaethje caused a momentary break in the action. Gaethje went up top with a head kick which was partially blocked. Gaethje then went low with another hard leg kick, followed by a blitzing combination of punches. Fiziev’s body strikes started to pile up, as he threw more at a higher rate.

In the final round, Fiziev landed a big right hand, followed by a left hook which connected clean, but Gaethje ate it. Gaethje landed a left hook and shot for a takedown which Fiziev stuffed. Gaethje then landed two stiff jabs as a mouse formed under Fiziev’s eye. Gaethje’s output significantly increased, but Fiziev countered with a short left. Gaethje started to cause some serious damage to a bloodied up Fiziev, landing an uppercut followed by a takedown to close out the fight.

Gaethje returned to the win column after getting submitted by Charles Oliveira in a lightweight title fight last May at UFC 274. Meanwhile, Fiziev saw his six-fight winning streak snapped.

The lightweight bout was the UFC 286 co-main event at The O2 in London.

Up-to-the-minute UFC 286 results include:

  • Justin Gaethje def. Rafael Fiziev via majority decision (29-28, 29-28, 28-28)

  • Gunnar Nelson def. Bryan Barberena via submission (armbar) – Round 1, 4:51

  • Jennifer Maia def. Casey O’Neill via unanimous decision (30-27, 29-28, 29-28)

  • Marvin Vettori def. Roman Dolidze via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 30-27)

  • Jack Shore def. Makwan Amirkhani via submission (rear-naked choke) – Round 2, 4:27

  • Chris Duncan def. Omar Morales via split decision (27-30, 29-28, 29-28)

  • Yanal Ashmoz def. Sam Patterson via knockout (punches) – Round 1, 1:15

  • Muhammad Mokaev def. Jafel Filho via submission (rear-naked choke) – Round 3, 4:32

  • Lerone Murphy def. Gabriel Santos via split decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28)

  • Christian Duncan def. Dusko Todorovic via TKO (injury) – Round 1, 1:52

  • Jake Hadley def. Malcolm Gordon via TKO (punches) – Round 1, 1:01

  • Joanne Wood def. Luana Carolina via split decision (28-29, 30-27, 29-28)

  • Jai Herbert vs. Ludovit Klein declared majority draw (29-27, 28-28, 28-28)

  • Veronica Hardy def. Juliana Miller via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)


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UFC 286: Official scorecards from London

For more on the card, visit MMA Junkie’s event hub for UFC 286.

Story originally appeared on MMA Junkie