LAS VEGAS – The main event between Mateusz Gamrot and Arman Tsarukyan was an incredible five rounds of action, proving exactly why this matchup deserved top billing of UFC on ESPN 38.
Both lightweight competitors entered the first main event of their UFC careers, with both men looking to make a statement on the big stage. When the dust settled after 25 minutes of high-paced action, the judges were unanimous in their decision, giving Gamrot (21-1 MMA, 4-1 UFC) the nod over Tsarukyan (18-3 MMA, 5-2 UFC).
Both fighters looked to establish their game early in the fight. Gamrot tried to get a takedown after grabbing a single leg and lifting it high, but Tsarukyan somehow managed to stay on his feet. A few moments later, Tsarukyan completed a beautiful takedown, and a few wild scrambles for position soon followed.
The action remained fast-paced in the second round. After a few opening exchanges, a thunderous kick from Tsarukyan to the body of Gamrot echoed throughout the UFC Apex. Tsarukyan tried to bring the fight to the ground again but was beautifully reversed by Gamrot. Another powerful kick from Tsarukyan landed to the body, as he seemed to get the better of Gamrot in the first two rounds.
Turn your sound on for this kick
— UFC (@ufc) June 26, 2022
The powerful striking offense of Tsarukyan continued early in the third round. He opened with another thunderous kick to the body and cracked Gamrot with a right hand a few moments later. Gamrot once again grabbed hold of a single leg but was unable to bring the fight to the mat.
A few moments later, though, he was able to grab hold of Tsarukyan and work his way to the back. Gamrot was unable to secure the position, but Tsarukyan worked free before any serious damage or submission attempts would occur. They returned to exchanging hard strikes until the round came to a close.
Gamrot came out firing in the fourth round and landed some big shots early. A spinning back fist from Tsarukyan landed and sent Gamrot down, but he was quick to recover. Another hard kick to the body scored for Tsarukyan as Gamrot shot for and completed a takedown. Gamrot took the back of his opponent and hunted for a submission, but the fight would go to the final round.
Tsarukyan landed a beautiful outside leg kick to sweep Gamrot off his feet early. Gamrot returned to his feet and kept the pressure high, shooting in for a beautiful takedown a moment later. After controlling Tsarukyan on the mat, they returned to the feet and continued to let the strikes fly. Gamrot looked for one more takedown to close out the fight. Tsarukyan was able to reverse position in the final seconds and land a few punches before the final horn sounded on this very entertaining main event.
All three official judges scored the fight 48-47 for Gamrot, notching the unanimous decision victory for the Polish fighter.
During his post-fight interview, Gamrot made it clear who he wants to mix it up with next.
“Now, I want to fight with Justin Gaethje,” said during his post-fight interview with Michael Bisping. Justin Gaethje’s the most brutal guy in this division. I want to fight next with him.”
— UFC (@ufc) June 26, 2022
With the win, Gamrot makes it four straight after the lone setback of his professional career against Guram Kutateladze in 2020. Entering Saturday’s fight with consecutive stoppages against Scott Holtzman, Jeremy Stephens, and Diego Ferreira, the Poland-born fighter is now in a great position to take on the next level of competition in the lightweight division.
Tsarykyan entered holding the No. 14 spot in the USA TODAY SPORTS/MMA Junkie lightweight rankings, which likely means Gamrot will elevate from the honorable mentions to a ranked fighter in the next rankings update.
On the other side, the first UFC main event for Tsarukyan marks the second loss of his run with the promotion. He faltered in his UFC debut, dropping a unanimous decision to Islam Makhachev in 2019. Tsarukyan rebounded nicely as he went on to win five straight, including back-to-back stoppages against Christos Giagos and Joel Alvarez in his two previous outings.
Up-to-the-minute results of UFC on ESPN 38 include:
- Mateusz Gamrot def. Arman Tsarukyan via unanimous decision (48-47, 48-47, 48-47)
- Shavkat Rakhmonov def. Neil Magny via submission (guillotine choke) – Round 2, 4:58
- Josh Parisian def. Alan Baudot via TKO (punches) – Round 2, 3:04
- Thiago Moises def. Christos Giagos via submission (rear-naked choke) – Round 1, 3:05
- Umar Nurmagomedov def. Nate Maness via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-26, 20-25)
- Chris Curtis def. Rodolfo Vieira via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
- Carlos Ulberg def. Tafon Nchukwi via TKO (punches) – Round 1, 1:15
- Shayilan Nuerdanbieke def. TJ Brown via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
- Sergey Morozov def. Raulian Paiva via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
- Cody Durden def. JP Buys via TKO (punches) – Round 1, 1:08
- Mario Bautista def. Brian Kelleher via submission (rear-naked choke) – Round 1, 2:27
- Vanessa Demopoulos def. Jinh Yu Frey via split decision (28-29, 29-28, 30-27)