This weekend’s UFC event saw one of the best fights in recent memory in the headline bout, as Mateusz Gamrot was able to edge out Arman Tsarukyan in a five-round thriller.
Following his win over Arman Tsarukyan, Mateusz Gamrot is likely to break into the UFC lightweight division’s top 10. So who should ‘Gamer’ face off with next?
Naturally, there are plenty of potential opponents for the Polish star, both above and slightly below him in the rankings. Only one thing is for certain, he’s in for a big fight next time out.
Here are five potential opponents for Mateusz Gamrot following his big win this weekend.
#5. Mateusz Gamrot vs. Gregor Gillespie
While he came into the UFC with the reputation of a striker, Mateusz Gamrot has already shown himself to be much more than that. He submitted Jeremy Stephens with a beautifully worked kimura, and against Arman Tsarukyan, he showed excellent scrambling skills and takedown defense at times.
However, it’s safe to say that ‘Gamer’ has never faced a wrestler with the skills of Gregor Gillespie before. That’s why a fight between the Polish star and ‘The Gift’ would be such an intriguing one.
Gillespie has not fought since his victory over Diego Ferreira just over a year ago. This inactivity saw him removed from the UFC’s lightweight rankings, where he occupied the No.8 spot, earlier this year.
However, the former NCAA Division I national champion has confirmed that he’s still with the promotion and is simply waiting for a tough opponent to come along. Right now, few fighters have the momentum that Gamrot has, so this fight could make sense for Gillespie to return with.
Who would come out on top? It’s hard to say, especially as Gillespie’s wrestling is so difficult to stop. Overall, though, ‘The Gift’ would make for a perfect test for Gamrot right now, especially if the UFC can’t get him another big fight.
#4. Mateusz Gamrot vs. Beneil Dariush
Currently ranked at No.6 in the UFC’s lightweight division, there’s no denying that prior to suffering a leg injury at the start of this year, Beneil Dariush was on a major roll.
The Iranian-born American is currently on a seven-fight win streak and most recently overcame Tony Ferguson in one of his most impressive showings to date. Essentially, Dariush is a fighter with dangerous skills in all areas, with his striking finally beginning to catch up to his slick grappling abilities.
However, the fact that he doesn’t have a hugely marketable personality means that it’s unlikely that the UFC will want to push him too hard right now. That could mean that when he returns, he’d be an excellent opponent for Mateusz Gamrot.
Sure, the fight wouldn’t be as big for ‘Gamer’ as a clash with Justin Gaethje, for instance, but it’d definitely be a major challenge. Dariush is capable of defeating any 155lber on his day, and he’s also an excellent finisher.
However, he’s always lacked the raw athleticism to really climb to the top of the mountain. For an explosive fighter like Gamrot, that could allow him the window of opportunity he’d need to defeat Dariush.
Overall this would make for an excellent bout, and the promotion could easily place it in the slot of a headliner for a UFC Fight Night event later this year.
#3. Mateusz Gamrot vs. Rafael Fiziev or Rafael dos Anjos
Following his win over Arman Tsarukyan, it’s likely that Mateusz Gamrot will find himself in the bottom end of the UFC’s lightweight top 10 this week. With that considered, he could well end up being matched with the winner of a fight between two of the combatants closest to him in the rankings, the upcoming bout between Rafael Fiziev and Rafael dos Anjos.
Both men would make for excellent opponents for ‘Gamer’, and both would provide him with a very different kind of test, too.
The Brazilian obviously has far more experience than both Gamrot and Fiziev, having been part of the UFC’s roster for well over a decade now. A former lightweight champion, ‘RDA’ is a deadly grappler who, over the years, has developed a brutal pressure-striking game. But at the age of 37, he may be slowing down somewhat, although he is on a two-fight win streak.
Fiziev, meanwhile, has demonstrated some seriously dangerous striking skills in his short UFC career, which began in 2019. However, for all his explosiveness, there are some question marks around him, particularly on the ground.
If Fiziev can knock off ‘RDA’, then a fight with Gamrot would work perfectly for him next, with the winner climbing to the elite level. If ‘RDA’ wins, meanwhile, then he’d be the perfect gatekeeper for ‘Gamer’ to face off with next.
Given that this fight is set to take place in two weeks’ time, the timing for the winner to face Gamrot could be perfect, too.
#2. Mateusz Gamrot vs. Tony Ferguson
Once widely considered the most feared fighter in the world at 155 pounds, there’s no denying that Tony Ferguson has fallen on hard times as of late. ‘El Cucuy’ is currently on a four-fight losing streak and most recently suffered a brutal knockout at the hands of Michael Chandler.
However, could Ferguson still provide Mateusz Gamrot with an excellent fight in his next trip to the octagon? The answer is absolutely a yes.
Despite his loss to Chandler, ‘El Cucuy’ still has very dangerous skills in all areas. While his durability isn’t where it once was, he can still strike well, has great cardio, and is a phenomenal scrambler on the mat.
More to the point, if ‘Gamer’ wants to climb to the top of the lightweight ladder, then he’ll need to beat more proven, established fighters along the way. There aren’t many fighters out there who are more proven than Ferguson.
This one would be a perfect fight for Gamrot. While it’d provide him with the biggest spotlight he’s ever been under, it’d also be a winnable bout for him due to Ferguson’s current slide. If he’s smart, he’ll call for this clash now.
#1. Mateusz Gamrot vs. Justin Gaethje
Following his win over Arman Tsarukyan this weekend, when asked who he wanted to fight next, Mateusz Gamrot didn’t beat around the bush. ‘Gamer’ called out Justin Gaethje. While that fight would be a huge step up for him, it might also make sense.
‘The Highlight’ is one of the biggest stars in the UFC’s lightweight division, has headlined a number of major shows. He’s fought the likes of Khabib Nurmagomedov, Michael Chandler and Charles Oliveira.
However, he’s also coming off a loss to ‘Do Bronx’ and right now, he’s not truly in title contention. Gaethje needs a victory to get back to that spot, so why not take a bout with a fighter a little lower on the ladder like Gamrot?
Of course, this clash would be a hugely tricky one for the Polish fighter. Gamrot has shown himself to be an excellent striker, a strong grappler and a fighter who doesn’t really slow down, but he also hasn’t fought someone who hits as hard as ‘The Highlight’.
Gamrot is clearly confident in his skills, though, or he wouldn’t have made this callout. Given that Gaethje doesn’t have a fight signed right now, then, the UFC could easily decide to make this bout, and let the chips fall where they may. It’d be hugely exciting, after all!