The UFC lightweight division continues to deliver some of the sport's most exciting fights and compelling drama. Arman Tsarukyan and Mateusz Gamrot, two extremely talented international fighters, are ready to enter the fray.
Tsarukyan (18-2) is one of the most promising lightweight contenders outside of the UFC top 10 and perhaps even the top five. Tsarukyan was tasked with a supremely difficult UFC debut against Islam Makhachev. Despite losing, Tsarukyan looked impressive against the mauler Makhachev and has since won five consecutive fights. Expectations are that a win on Saturday night will reward Tsarukyan with a significant follow-up fight.
"After this fight, it's going to be very different," Tsarukyan said at UFC Fight Night media day on Wednesday. "Everybody is going to talk about me. After this fight, I'm going to be a contender.
"After this fight, I should be top five, probably. No. 6 or No. 5. You guys gotta help me after this fight, talk about me a lot. I beat Joel Alvarez but my rank didn't go very high. He's a good fighter, I beat him very easily. I hope after this fight I gotta be in the top five because Gamrot, he's a good fighter. I'll stop him and I'll get in top five then after this fight I want to be a contender and I want to get a fight from top five guys."
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Gamrot is among Poland's most popular fighters and has been nothing but thrilling in the UFC. Following a Fight of the Night split decision loss to Guram Kutateladze in his UFC debut, Gamrot went on an absolute tear. The former KSW champion knocked out Scott Holtzman, quickly submitted Jeremy Stephens and stopped Carlos Diego Ferreira. Despite notching all three of his UFC wins in two rounds or less, Gamrot expects a long war with Tsarukyan.
"Nobody wants to fight with Arman, a lot of people are scared of him," Gamrot said. "Nobody wants to fight with me. We will meet together in the Octagon. He's a great fighter. Good striker [with] good wrestling, but I think his weakness is jiu-jitsu. I'm the more experienced guy with five rounds. I'm used to the pressure. I used to be champion [in KSW] and I think it's going to be a great show.
"I don't want to finish the fight too early... This is going to be five rounds of violence. This is probably going to be the biggest test for me so far and I'm super ready for this guy. If I see an opportunity early, I will take it."
The UFC Apex in Las Vegas hosts plenty of intriguing international fighters beyond the main event. Shavkat Rakhmonov is a supremely promising welterweight that no one wants to face. Neil Magny has never been accused of ducking a tough fight. Rakhmonov is a multi-tool of terror across 15 professional fights, winning eight by knockout and seven by submission. Magny has defeated former world champions Johny Hendricks and Robbie Lawler. Also keep an eye on the undefeated Umar Nurmagomedov, a major nine-to-one favorite against Nate Maness.
Here's the fight card for UFC Fight Night with the latest odds from Caesars Sportsbook.
UFC Fight Night card, odds
Arman Tsarukyan -300
Mateusz Gamrot +240
Shakvat Rakhmonov -410
Neil Magny +320
Alan Baudot -115
Josh Parisian -105
Thiago Moises -240
Christos Giagos +200
Umar Nurmagomedov -900
Nate Maness +600
|Chris Curtis -130||Rodolfo Vieira +110||Middleweight|
UFC Fight Night viewing information
Date: June 25 | Start time: 10 p.m. ET
Location: UFC Apex -- Las Vegas, Nevada
Arman Tsarukyan vs. Mateusz Gamrot: This is a closer fight than oddsmakers suggest. Tsarukyan is a thoroughbred that overwhelms opponents. Gamrot is an action fighter in all facets of the game. Tsarukyan and Gamrot's skillsets fall quite evenly on the MMA scale. Tsarukyan holds the kickboxing advantage, while Gamrot is the more adept jiu-jitsu player. Both fighters are more than capable of reaching over into their opponent's area of expertise. Statistics alone paint an unclear image, but it is interesting to note that both men have seven knockouts and five submissions on their pro record. Gamrot is the only fighter of the two with experience fighting beyond 15-minutes, but his gas tank failed him against Kutateladze. Tsarukyan is the sort of athlete that will come well prepared for a five-round fight. Gamrot may be a touch too much for Tsarukyan right now, but Tsarukyan may just be the more successful UFC fighter by the end of their respective careers. Do not be surprised to see 48-47 scorecards en route to a unanimous decision or split decision for either fighter. We'll side with Tsarukyan's upside over Gamrot's five-round experience. Tsarukyan via SD
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