December 02, 2021 11:37 PM
Ewan Lavender

MMA Preview – Brad Riddell vs Rafael Fiziev at UFC on ESPN 31

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When is UFC on ESPN 31? Sunday 5th December, 2021 - 01:00 start (UK)

Where is UFC on ESPN 31? UFC APEX, Enterprise, Nevada (US)

Where can I get tickets for UFC on ESPN 31? Click here for the latest ticket information for UFC events

What channel is UFC on ESPN 31 on? BT Sport 1

Where can I stream UFC on ESPN 31? BT Sport subscribers can stream the fight online via the BT Sport website

For viewers in the United States, the event will be shown live on ESPN+ and you can sign up for access as part of a Disney Bundle here!


Brad Riddell (10-1) has not had an easy fight in the UFC, but he has won all four and is riding a seven-fight win streak. He earnt a unanimous decision over Jamie Mullarkey (2019) on his debut which continues to age well. He then met Magomed Mustafaev (2020) who was coming off a spectacular knockout over Fiziev and earnt a split decision. He then went on to earn unanimous decisions over Alex da Silva Coelho (2020) and Drew Dober (2021) which was a very close fight but his biggest win to date.

After Mustafaev’s majestic spinning back kick, Rafael Fiziev (10-1) has picked himself up and dusted himself off to string his first four UFC wins together. He earnt unanimous decisions over Alex White (2019) and Marc Diakiese (2020) before sparking out Renato Moicano (2020) and now he is coming off another unanimous decision over Bobby Green back in August.


Unless you do not want either fighter to lose, this is perfect matchmaking. They are two of the most technical and exciting strikers in the lightweight division and they are not even in the top 10.

Riddell has more of a kickboxing base and Fiziev a Muay That although they have both trained together at Tiger Muay Thai in Thailand and they are extremely well versed in the striking realm. Riddell is more compact and relies on his hands whereas Fiziev throws an array of kicks which can tend to deplete the gas tank.

Riddell is more consistent over three rounds and as we expect this to go the distance, this will be crucial is maintaining a consistent output. Fiziev can change the course of the fight with one strike, but Riddell’s defence, durability and cardio swing this in his favour for us.

If Fiziev paces himself, his thunderous leg kicks and strikes to the body will add up. Riddell will not back down which may work against him as he will be walking into a woodchipper. Riddell also has a takedown in the locker which he will be wise to employ at least to keep Fiziev guessing.

This is going to be a back-and-forth war and we feel Riddell’s consistency and cardio will help him finish stronger in the second and third round although you can never count Fiziev out in a stand-up battle. You’ll be better off keeping your money in your pocket and simply enjoying a striking masterclass.

Prediction: Riddell via Decision - CLICK HERE FOR PARIMATCH'S WELCOME OFFER (BET £5, GET £30 IN BONUSES!)

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