On the back of 2 weeks of wild fights and finishes, from 2 historic cards (UFC 275 and last weeks UFC fight night Kattar vs Emmett) we now aim our sights onto the next fight card, that I'm sure will deliver as much entertainment like its two cards previous to this one, as we now arrive at the apex venue in Nevada, with two highly talked about prospects in Arman Tsarukyan (18-2) vs. Mateusz Gamrot (20-1, 1 N/C) looking to find out, which prospect has what it takes to break into this lightweight division, that's stacked with killers and UFC stars.
In this article please note I am going to pick the fights I have taken the time to do research on, such as studying both of their fighting styles and watching fights of theirs previously, rather than go through the whole card and try guess from fighters I may not be too knowledgeable on, let's proceed.
So with the main event it's no secret that both of these guys are very high level fighters that could give any of the top 10 lightweights, a hard night at the office. Tsarukyan's UFC debut came in the co-main event of a card in Russia, his debut opponent was none other than Islam Makhachev, that's right that guy that has been mauling everyone, who is ranked no.4 and looks set to be the next guy to fight Charles Oliviera for the lightweight champion, so if you've not seen that debut, Tsarukyan did lose, quite comfortably to be fair, via unanimous decision, but there were positives to take from the fight.
If you look back it now knowing what you know about Makhachev, Tsarukyan did fight back when the going was getting tough, even faired pretty well against Islam (compared to what others have managed to not be able to do that is) but ultimately it was a loss but it did get fight of the night so I guess that has to be another positive takeaway if your team Tsarukyan, since then he has been on a great run racking up 5 straight wins since that debut loss, also racking up 2 performance of the night bonuses in his last two scraps.
Similar to Arman, Gamrot has not lost since his UFC debut either, that debut was also a very tough ask as he fought Guram Kutateladze, who if you didn't see last week, is an absolute beast, if you've not seen that fight it was a great back and fourth fight, with Gamrot trying (and successfully at times) to utilize his great wrestling attributes that he thrives in under his great team at 'American top team', but unfortunately it was Kutateladze's striking output (especially his kicks) and will to get the fight back to the feet, that edged the fight for Guram via split decision, which also acclaimed fight of the night bonuses for both guys.
If you go watch Tsarukyan vs Alvarez you will see just how brutal Arman's ground and pound game is, very bloody mess so if your afraid of a bit of blood I wouldn't recommend! Both guys are really good on the floor, I give Gamrot the submission ground but Tsarukyan the ground and pound, I see this being a standing battle as both guys will respect what the other guys strengths are once it hits the floor, on that reason alone I'm giving it to Tsarukyan.
### Winner: Tsarukyan via descion or TKO/KO (which is currently 8/13 on Paddy Power)
Now before I give you my breakdown and my betting choice, can we take a moment and applaud the balls Magny has, the only man that has wanted Chimaev when he wasn't ranked and let's be honest no one wanted to fight him, then to put his hand up for Shavkat when again no one really wants that fight also, I give Magny all the credit. Magny has had 26 fights in the UFC alone, consider I remember him on the ultimate fighter way back in 2012, is to me insane, he's fought the likes of Demian Maia, Kelvin Gastelum, Rafael dos Anjos, Carlos Condit, Santiago Ponzinibbio, Robbie Lawler, Michael Chiesa, this list alone is crazy and shows that Magny is a veteran of this fight game, experience does go a long way, being ranked no.10 is a dangerous spot because all the fighters below that are licking their lips at the chance of taking your spot and breaking into the top 10 which is a huge deal.
Shavkat is the hungry lion that is looking to take that top 10 spot and break into the top ten, it gets harder to avoid a fighter once they break into that top ten, Shavkat knows this and no doubt will be ready to pounce on that opportunity and put on a performance of a lifetime, since coming into the UFC nearly a year ago to date, Shavkat has looked incredible, faultless if you will, now its definitely too early for me to say he's going to be this next big thing, but a great performance here against a tough top 10 veteran, I will be ready to jump on that bandwagon with you all!
Both of these fighters are very well rounded, Shavkat does have good submissions so I don't think Magny is going to want to play that game, he may look to grapple Shavkat up against the fence, try take some life out him and make it dirty, but I find Shavkat will be aware of this and his footwork will help when it comes to Magny's wrestling and grappling attempts, so I am going to say this will be a potential 3 rounder, with Shavkat winning via decision, but I in betting terms will be adding Shavkat just to win.
### Winner: Shavkat (2/9 on paddy power)
This fight record wise might say this could be and should be a close fight, but if you have seen Umar fight you'd understand why I don't give Maness much of a chance, that's not to say it couldn't happen, Maness has a submission, TKO and decision win in his 3 fights in the UFC, but Umar just looks to be more dangerous wherever this fight goes, this one is short and sweet people, I'll be parting my money with Umar to live up to the Nurmagomedov name and get another finish.
### Umar via KO/TKO or submission (8/11 on paddy power)
This should be a fun scrap in the bantamweight division, Kelleher has had a very up and down career in the UFC, his tendency seems to be win 2 lose 1, win 2 lose 1, he's coming off a loss via submission from Umar Nurmagomedov (no shame in that), but Brian really has to make a case in this fight and I think he will do just that, but it wont be easy against a game Mario Bautista, Mario had a tough debut against Cory Sandhagen which he lost via submission (again no shame in that), but since then has racked up wins and losses, both guys have something to prove.
I am leaning towards Brian but for betting terms I'm putting my money on this going all 3 rounds to a decision, both of these guys tend to feel out and usually let the judges decide who wins.
### Fight to go distance: YES (evens on paddy power)
So people that wraps up my picks for UFC Tsarukyan vs Gamrot this weekend, be sure to tune in, I'm going to put down a free £5 I have, let me know if you guys end up parting money on my choices, I will illiterate the fact I am not a expert gambler, just a fight fan that likes to part ways with change to make the fights more entertaining.