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Brad Riddell details past training with opponent Rafael Fiziev

Brad Riddell, UFC, Rafael Fiziev

Brad Riddell is set to take on Rafael Fiziev in a very exciting bout at UFC Vegas 44. The contest pits two very exciting lightweights against each other to test their striking.

The two have trained together in the past and sparred together in Thailand. A lot has changed as both are now in the UFC and looking to fight for the lightweight belt in the near future.

Brad Riddell recently spoke to Submission Radio about Rafael Fiziev and details their past training. He’s certainly not worried ahead of UFC Vegas 44.

“I used to bump into him a little bit in Phuket when he was down at Phuket Top Team,” Riddell told Submission Radio. “And then when I left my job, he took over. And then I think I was there for about a year or so while he was still coaching, and we trained together a bit and sparred and wrestled. Everyone seems to think that’s a massive deal. But I’ve trained with a few guys in that top 15, like Arman (Tsarukyan) and Damir (Ismagulov), Rafael, obviously Dan (Hooker). So it’s nothing too shocking from my point of view.”

“Business. It’s just business,” the UFC lightweight continued. “I want to make money to feed my kids, and he wants to make money to feed his kids. He wants to be the champ. So do I. So you just think about that instead of thinking about the fact that we’re mates – just think about it as like healthy competition. And in my opinion, he’s one of the best in the top 15, for sure, and so I want to test myself against him because, I mean, why would you not want to test yourself against the best people in the world? I think Raf’s one of the best for sure.”

The two have sparred in the past but it was so long ago, neither man was in the UFC. Brad Riddell wasn’t even competing in MMA.

“It was like four or five years ago,” Riddell said. “He’s changed a lot since then, and I’ve changed a lot. I barely did MMA back then, so a whole heap’s changed for me. But I definitely don’t think I’ll rely on those sparring sessions too much. You change in like six months, three months in this sport. It evolves so quickly. You can’t rely on some sh*t from four years ago.

“I feel like we’re very similar. We’re very evenly matched sort of everywhere. I don’t think either of us stand out significantly above each other in any aspect of the sport. So I think it’s going to be a very even, interesting fight. It will be, I guess, who turns up on the night”

“From memory, obviously he’s hard to strike with. Even though he hasn’t wrestled much in the UFC, he’s a very good wrestler. He’s got some pretty good submissions up his sleeve and stuff like that. It’s hard to say, because I’m not going to talk sh*t about my mate. But it’s going to be a pretty epic fight. I think as excited as everybody is, they have good reason to be.”

UFC Vegas 44 has some very fun fights as Rob Font meets Jose Aldo in the main event. Brad Riddell will be taking on Rafael Fiziev.