Prediction: Arman Tsarukyan vs. Mateusz Gamrot | UFC on ESPN 38
Arman Tsarukyan and Mateusz Gamrot will go head-to-head in this weekend’s UFC on
Tsarukyan (18-2) is undefeated in his last five fights in the UFC, recently defeating Joel Alvarez and Christos Giagos by TKO. Those wins helped him move up to #11 in the UFC lightweight rankings and he’ll now defend that spot against Mateusz Gamrot who is ranked one spot below him at #12.
Gamrot (20-1) enters this main event fight after winning all three of his last bouts in the UFC. His recent victories include a knockout win against Carlos Diego Ferreira and a submission win against Jeremy Stephens.
Arman Tsarukyan will enter as the betting favorite this weekend with odds of -300 against underdog Mateusz Gamrot at odds of +220.
Arman Tsarukyan is THE prospect to keep your eye on within the lightweight division. At just 25-year-old, Arman is only getting better fight over the fight which is a scary proposition knowing just how elite he already is. Moreover, barring losing his second professional fight, his lone loss came at the hands of Islam Makhachev; interestingly, in that fight, Arman put forth an impressive performance that showed moments that they were at the same level; and, knowing this fight took place at the beginning of 2019, justifies many believing the rapidly improving Arman is perhaps the best test for the Khabib protégé in the near future.
Knowing the lightweight division is stacked with elite prospects, the UFC is beginning to separate the talent tier. Perhaps the most notable instance of this took place in Arman’s last fight, as he fought fellow prospect, Joel Alvarez. Leading up to this fight, there were many believing the size, power, and elite submission game of Alvarez would allow him to upset Arman. But, once the fight doors closed, Arman showed he was levels above Alvarez.
In that fight, Arman showed trust that his truly elite wrestling would prevent any danger thrown up by Alvarez on the back. Moreover, he showcased confident and impressive kickboxing, using speed and movement to land effective blows to all levels of the body. After this fight ensued, Arman showed everybody watching what it means to, from an elite level, combine striking into grappling and vice versa. All in all, I believe, knowing he is continually fine-tuning his elite well-rounded skills as a fighter, that Arman is, right now, a top 5 lightweight.
While Arman uses elite wrestling combined with speed-driven kickboxing, Gamrot uses impressive wrestling with damaging power. The interesting aspect of Garmot’s fight game is his ability to wrestle without needing to chain it together off of striking – this is perhaps unsurprising knowing he is a European Champion in submission wrestling. So, being able to successfully shoot in on a takedown, primarily done via a single-leg attack, accompanied by having the wherewithal to take the most advantageous position once on the mat, makes Gamrot one of the most slept-on grapplers in the UFC.
Although Gamrot somewhat relentlessly pursues the takedown, as alluded to prior, he does have striking at his disposal. The form at which he fights on the feet is levels above a typical wrestle-heavy fighter, but it is below that of a seamless, technical striker. More specifically, he uses movement well and understands how to set up shots to land the most powerful blow cleanly. The power strikes thrown are predominantly with his hands, and he does a very good job mixing combinations to the head and body equally.
In total, Gamrot’s intelligence to mix up his striking coupled with knowing his opponent is likely thinking about when the next takedown is going to be shot allows him to have success on the feet throughout the duration of the fight. The only identifiable issue, and one where I am grasping at straws to find, is that he showed to slow somewhat in his last fight, which if done in this fight, will be an exacerbated concern.
In three years, I fully expect Arman and Gamrot to be ranked in the top five of the division. This belief is built on the fact both are talented, well-rounded fighters that are dangerous no matter the position of the fight. With that said, I believe Arman’s skills everywhere are just that notch better with regard to speed and technique. Because of this, I expect Arman to win quite comfortably given he is the higher-end talent in every fight position. Even though I have this expectation, Gamrot has the necessary skills to put forth a legitimate performance that will show he is worthy of top 5 consideration in the near future. As such, I believe Arman will win a confident decision victory.
Pick: Arman Tsarukyan to win by decision
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