Mateusz Gamrot ekes by Arman Tsarukyan in a thriller

Mateusz Gamrot and Arman Tsarukyan hosted the Fighting Kind Saturday at Apex in Las Vegas which is an introduction to all things great about mixed martial arts. It was fast with wild scrambles, big strikes, top level wrestling and grappling and an intensity you rarely see for a full 25 minutes.

Gamrot won a unanimous decision in a fight that showed the unreal depth of the UFC lightweight division. Tsarukyan entered the fight ranked 11th and Gamrot 12th, and after watching them fight so fiercely for five rounds, it’s hard to believe there are 10 fighters in the division better than them.

Gamrot trailed 20-18 after two rounds, but swept the bottom three on all three judges’ scorecards to make the decision.

Only a split decision loss to Guram Kutateladze in 2020 prevents Gamrot from being 22-0 as a professional. Tsarukyan fell to 18-3 in suffering his first loss since a 2019 decision loss to Islam Makhachev.

Tsarukyan controlled the fight early with his kicks to the body. There were a lot of quick scrambles early in the fight, but neither man had an advantage. But as the fight progressed, Gamrot’s wrestling became more of a factor.

It was such an advantage in the second half of the fight that during the rest period after the fourth round, Tsarukyan’s corner pressed him: “No more wrestling!”

Tsarukyan had a 95-81 advantage in important strikes, but Gamrot had six takedowns to Tsarukyan’s one. Four of those eliminations – two each – came in the final two rounds for Gamrot.

Gamrot’s strike, however, was more accurate. He landed 58% of his big shots to Tsarukyan’s 38% and connected an unbelievably high 20 of 25 in the fifth round. Tsarukyan, on the other hand, landed 23 of 54 in the last.

“It was a very tough fight,” Gamrot said. “It was high-level MMA.”

Mateusz Gamrot and Arman Tsarukyan put on quite a show on Saturday at Apex in Las Vegas. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC)

Tsarukyan dropped Gamrot with a back first lap early in the fourth, but Gamrot recovered quickly and got back to his feet. This was a turning point as Gamrot’s wrestling skills took over the fight from that point on.

Gamrot had Tsarukyan’s back at the end of the fourth, and had Tsarukyan’s knee awkwardly tucked under him, but Tsarukyan got away with it.

“I do not know what happened [because] this camp was very good,” Tsarukyan said. “I don’t know. I have to show a better fight than this.

Gamrot capped off an incredible fight by releasing a surprising caption. He asked for number 3 Justin Gaethje, who is coming off a loss to Charles Oliveira.

The fight won’t happen mainly because Gaethje is so much higher ranked than him, and the winner of the July 9 fight between No. 7 Rafael dos Anjos and No. 10 Rafael Fiziev might be a more logical next opponent for him. .

But you can’t blame him for reaching for the stars after his spectacular performance.

“Now I want to fight Justin Gaethje,” Gamrot said. “Justin Gaethje is the most brutal guy in the division so I want to fight him next.”

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