In what is quickly becoming one of the most anticipated fights of a stacked UFC 285 card, Mateusz “Gamer” Gamrot is stepping in on short notice to take on Jalin “The Tarantula” Turner.
Gamrot is 32 years old, ranked #7 in the lightweight division, and has only lost twice in his career, both in the UFC. Gamrot’s UFC record is bookended with losses, his debut via split decision and most recently by unanimous decision. In between those losses, Gamrot is 4-0 with three finishes and a decision win that contended for Fight of the Year in 2022.
Turner is 27 years old, ranked #10, and also only has two UFC losses. He dropped his debut via KO to Vicente Luque and lost a decision two fights later. Since then, Turner is on a five-fight winning streak, all of which have come via finish.
Gamrot vs. Turner is one of the many exciting fights on this weekend’s UFC 285 PPV main card. Order the PPV now on ESPN+ to watch Jones vs. Gane, Shevchenko vs. Grasso, and more.
Despite stepping in on short notice, Gamrot is the favorite in this fight.
Interestingly, his odds are drastically different depending on the book. His lowest odds are -170 while his highest are -230. A .50 difference in price on a fighter is rare and will likely change.
Gamrot is a well-rounded fighter who can win and win impressively no matter where the fight goes; but, his primary path to victory is through his wrestling. Gamrot is an athletic, strong, and well-schooled wrestler who shoots takedowns with intelligence and explosion.
His defensive wrestling is of the same vein, steeped in technique and athleticism, Gamrot’s ability to scramble out of positions is truly special. Once on the mat, Gamrot continues to uniquely combine skill and physical talent with his ability to hit sweeps, reversals, and position changes against even the highest level of grapplers. Once he gets into position, Gamrot is aggressive on top and looks for ground and pound quickly.
Because his grappling is so impressive, and often a clear advantage over his opponent, he is willing to take more risks on the mat. If his opponent takes advantage of Gamrot going for the finish over position and gets up, Gamrot jumps right back on the pressure and looks for a mat return. His cardio, elite, allows him to wrestle and wrestle with pressure for as long as the fight goes.
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On the feet, Gamrot has snipers for hands and hits with power. Just like his wrestling, Gamrot’s striking combines fundamentals, with explosion and pressure. He uses pressure to his advantage by pushing forward behind his jab. Then, when an opponent fires back, Gamrot eats it, slips it, or blocks it, and returns with a heavy cross of his own. The issues Gamrot has faced have come against fighters who can stuff the early takedown, force Gamrot off his rhythm, and out-volume him on the feet.
Turner is massive for the weight class and knows how to use his size to his advantage. He has a long and rangy style that he uses to keep opponents on the end of a stiff 1-2 combination.
His strikes, despite his size and legitimate power, are thrown with speed and heat. He has little wasted movement in his striking and tends to land with a high level of accuracy. Typically, fighters with such speed and power have lower volume; but, Turner is one of the rare fighters who pushes a high pace and lands with emphasis throughout the entire fight.
Turner, while striking, is able to impressively combine technical, smooth, and powerful kickboxing. In the grappling department, something that will likely be tested in this fight, Turner’s size and defensive submissions help him keep the fight standing. He boasts 80% takedown defense but his ability is more steeped in his ability to use the cage, spread his legs, post, and use leverage created by his size advantage.
More dangerous, though, are his defensive submissions, specifically his choke game. When opponents lazily shoot takedowns, Turner is adept at reversing position, taking the back, and locking up a choke of his own. To put it simply, offensively, Turner is a fight-ender on the feet and with his choke game.
Defensively, though, is where Turner has yet to answer questions. He has been backed up into the cage, can succumb, at times, to pressure, and can struggle in dirty boxing matches. Fight after fight, though, during his five-fight winning streak, Turner has shown an impressive evolution.
Prediction and Betting Guide
The first variable that I’d like to address in this fight is the strength of schedule.
Turner has lost to the only top 10 level of talent he’s faced, and Gamrot has only beaten 1 of the 2 top 10 level of fighters he’s faced as well. Both men are undoubtedly highly skilled and ranked fighters; but, neither man has proven it consistently against a tough level of competition.
Specifically to this matchup, Gamrot will likely look to use his pressure and ability to close distance to mitigate Turner’s size and preferred fight. Meanwhile, Turner will look to use his size and defensive submissions to keep the fight standing. This fight should be razor-thin but both men have the tools to win it.
I’m on Turner here. I like his size, power, and ability to land with such speed against a linear opponent. So long as he isn’t rag-dolled, Turner should land the more powerful and damaging shots.
Best Bet: Turner to win (+180 odds at MyBookie)