If Arman Tsarukyan vs. Mateusz Gamrot was a glimpse into the future of the UFC lightweight division, then that future is looking terribly bright.
Gamrot defeated Tsarukyan by unanimous decision (48-47, 48-47, 48-47) in Saturday’s UFC Fight Night main event in Las Vegas. But the result could have gone either way, and both men – two of the best rising 155lb fighters in the world – performed at an incredibly high level.
“It was a very tough fight,” Gamrot said in his post-fight interview. “Arman is a high-level guy from the new generation. I wish Arman the best. I hope we train in the future.”
Tsarukyan was ESPN’s No. 10 lightweight to come in while Gamrot was unranked, although that’s likely to change. Gamrot then called up former UFC interim lightweight champion Justin Gaethje, who suffered a title fight loss to Charles Oliveira at UFC 274 last month.
“Justin Gaethje is the most brutal guy in the division,” said Gamrot. “I want to fight him next.”
The final three rounds on Saturday night were the difference in a back-and-forth, fast-paced battle. Tsarukyan took an early lead, using his body kicks to slow Gamrot and his wrestling ability to evade Gamrot’s takedown attempts. Gamrot could land takedowns later in the fight. Tsarukyan admitted that this his first five-round fight may have contributed to some fatigue deeper into the fight.
Despite this, Tsarukyan dropped Gamrot first with a spinning back in the fourth round and took Gamrot off his feet with a calf kick in the fifth round. Gamrot just seemed like the fresher, more aggressive fighter in the late rounds. Gamrot amassed 4 minutes, 58 seconds of control time, including 4:24 over the last three laps, according to ESPN Stats & Information data.
“I had to put on a better fight than this,” said Tsarukyan. “I know myself. I don’t know what happened.”
Judges Chris Lee, Sal D’Amato and Ron McCarthy all had identical scorecards, with the first two rounds going to Tsarukyan and the last three to Gamrot.
Gamrot (21-1, 1 NC) is on a winning streak of four fights. The fighter from Poland has been unbeaten since his UFC debut, a loss to Guram Kutateladze in October 2020. The 31-year-old Gamrot ended all of his previous three wins on Saturday. He is the former KSW Lightweight and Featherweight Champion. Gamrot was a +220 underdog.
Tsarukyan (18-3) had a five-fight win streak. The Republic of Georgia fighter suffered just one UFC loss to top contender Islam Makhachev in Tsarukyan’s UFC debut in April 2019, according to Bonuses.
“I’m ready for every single damn guy in the division,” Gamrot said. “In the future I will be the champion for sure.”
https://www.espn.com/mma/story/_/id/34150501/mateusz-gamrot-edges-arman-tsarukyan-back-forth-ufc-lightweight-brawl Mateusz Gamrot edges Arman Tsarukyan in back-and-forth UFC lightweight brawl