Gamrot edges Tsarukyan in back-and-forth brawl

If Arman Tsarukyan vs. Mateusz Gamrot was a look into the future of the UFC lightweight division, then that future looks awfully bright.

Gamrot beat Tsarukyan by unanimous decision (48-47, 48-47, 48-47) in the main event of UFC Fight Night on Saturday in Las Vegas. But the result could have gone either way, and both men — two of the top up-and-coming fighters at 155 pounds in the world — performed at an incredibly high level.

“This was very tough fight,” Gamrot said in his postfight interview. “Arman is high-level guy, from the new generation. I wish the best for Arman. I hope we train in the future.”

Tsarukyan was ESPN’s No. 10-ranked lightweight coming in, while Gamrot was unranked, though that is likely to change. Afterward, Gamrot called out former UFC interim lightweight champion Justin Gaethje, who is coming off a title fight loss to Charles Oliveira at UFC 274 last month.

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

The last three rounds Saturday night were the difference in what was a back-and-forth, fast-paced fight. Tsarukyan took a lead early, using his body kicks to slow Gamrot and his wrestling ability to scramble away from Gamrot’s takedown attempts. Gamrot was able to land takedowns later in the fight. Tsarukyan admitted that this being his first five-round contest might have contributed to some fatigue deeper in the bout.

Still, Tsarukyan dropped Gamrot with a spinning back first in the fourth round and took Gamrot off his feet with a calf kick in the fifth. Gamrot just appeared to be the fresher, more aggressive fighter in the late rounds. Gamrot accumulated 4 minutes, 58 seconds of control time, 4:24 of which came in the final three rounds, per ESPN Stats & Information data.

“I had to show a better fight than this one,” Tsarukyan said. “I know me. I don’t know what happened.”

Judges Chris Lee, Sal D’Amato and Ron McCarthy all had identical scorecards, with the first two rounds to Tsarukyan and the final three to Gamrot.

Gamrot (21-1, 1 NC) is on a four-fight winning streak. The fighter from Poland is unbeaten since his UFC debut, a loss to Guram Kutateladze in October 2020. Gamrot, 31, finished all of his previous three wins coming into Saturday. He’s the former KSW lightweight and featherweight champion. Gamrot was a +220 underdog.

Tsarukyan (18-3) had a five-fight winning streak snapped. The Republic of Georgia fighter had just one UFC loss coming in, to top contender Islam Makhachev in Tsarukyan’s UFC debut in April 2019. Tsarukyan, 25, was coming off back-to-back finishes that earned him a pair of $50,000 Performance of the Night bonuses.

“I’m ready for every single f—ing guy in the division,” Gamrot said. “In the future, I will be the champion, for sure.”

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