UFC St. Petersburg video: Magomed Mustafaev blasts Rafael Fiziev with spinning head kick in Octagon return
There’s making up for lost time and then there’s what Magomed Mustafaev did on Saturday.
Competing for the first time in nearly 900 days, Mustafaev (15-2) reminded everyone why he is one to watch in the 155-pound division, taking Rafael Fiziev (6-1) out with a spinning strike to open the UFC St. Petersburg preliminaries.
Mustafaev was looking to spin and win right out of the gate, catching Fiziev with a glancing kick that put the debuting Kazakh off-balance. That put Mustafaev in the driver’s seat and he never let his foot off the gas, eventually landing a spinning kick to the head that rocked Fiziev even though it was partially blocked. From there, Mustafaev landed several follow-up punches and then backed away before the referee even had time to step in.
The official time of the stoppage was 1:26 of round one.
“I knew the kick would be there and I caught him and came away with the victory,” Mustafaev said of the finishing maneuver in his post-fight interview.
He also used his mic time to call for a rematch with Kevin Lee, who was Mustafaev’s last opponent before being shelved for the past two-plus years.
Mustafaev is now 3-1 in the UFC, with all of those wins coming by way of knockout.
Watch Mustafaev’s big return win above.