- Two ranked UFC lightweight contenders, Rafael Fiziev and Mateusz Gamrot, headline the fight night this Saturday.
- Rafael Fiziev is the betting favorite at -165.
- Mateusz Gamrot is the betting underdog at +135.
Two incredibly talented UFC lightweight contenders will headline the fight night this Saturday, Sept. 23, inside the APEX Center in Las Vegas, as No. 6-ranked Rafael Fiziev (12-2) faces No. 7-ranked divisional challenger Mateusz Gamrot (22-2) in the five-round main event attraction. Fiziev is tagged as the slight betting favorite by oddsmakers in UFC odds at -165, while Gamrot is the slight betting underdog at +135.
It's officially #UFCVegas79 Fight Week!
Saturday's main event belongs to the lightweights 😤 pic.twitter.com/ADtcgiuUWw
— UFC (@ufc) September 18, 2023
Aside from being the higher-ranked contender in the stacked 155-pound division, Fiziev is the favored fighter to come away with the victory because he has a few wins against notable contenders and was competitive against Justin Gaethje in his last fight, where he received a majority decision loss. Meanwhile, Gamrot is coming off a bounce-back win over Jalin Turner in March 2023 via a split decision.
Rafael Fiziev Recent Fight Results
Rafael Fiziev was an undefeated prospect when he signed with the UFC in 2019 with six wins and six finishes. He made his Octagon debut in April 2019 against Magomed Mustafaev and suffered a first-round TKO loss. But “Ataman” rebounded from that debut defeat and racked up six straight victories, beginning with a unanimous decision win over Alex White in October 2019.
The Tiger Muay Thai representative added Marc Diakiese, Renato Moicano, Bobby Green, Brad Riddell, and Rafael Dos Anjos to his pile of wins and earned a massive fight with former UFC interim lightweight champion Gaethje in March 2023. Fiziev held his own against “The Highlight” in a competitive back-and-forth match but came up short as Gaethje took the majority decision win.
— UFC (@ufc) September 18, 2023
Mateusz Gamrot Recent Fight Results
Like Fiziev, Mateusz Gamrot was an undefeated prospect when he signed with the UFC in 2020. He was even the former KSW lightweight champion with multiple title defenses. The “Gamer” officially made his UFC debut in October 2020 but lost to Guram Kutateladze in a close bout via split decision. The 32-year-old quickly rebounded from that defeat and won his next five fights.
Gamrot defeated Scott Holtzman, Jeremy Stephens, Diego Ferreira, and Arman Tsarukyan before Beneil Dariush snapped his winning streak in October 2022 with a unanimous decision defeat. The Polish made his way back to the winning column by defeating Turner in his previous fight in March 2023 to maintain his ranking in the top 10.
— UFC (@ufc) March 5, 2023
Rafael Fiziev vs. Mateusz Gamrot: Tale of the Tape
|Rafael Fiziev||Mateusz Gamrot|
|Reach||71.5 inches||70.5 inches|
|Leg Reach||40 inches||39 inches|
|Fighting Style||Muay Thai||Wrestling|
Rafael Fiziev vs. Mateusz Gamrot: Fight Analysis
The tale of the tape between Rafael Fiziev and Mateusz Gamrot reads a two-inch height advantage for the latter at 5-foot-10 against the former, who stands at 5-foot-8. However, “Ataman” will have an inch of reach and leg reach at 71.5 inches and 40 inches against the “Gamer’s” 70.5 inches of reach and 39 inches of leg reach.
Both have sustained two losses in their MMA careers, but Gamrot has 10 more victories over Fiziev. Stylistically, it will be a clash of techniques because Fiziev will bring his strong striking background through Muay Thai, while Gamrot has top-level wrestling and grappling skills that he wants to utilize on fight night.
The numbers in the significant strikes and grappling departments are proof of the difference in fighting style. Fiziev has more significant strikes landed per minute at 5.06 (51% rate) compared to Gamrot’s 3.03 (51% rate). However, the Polish grappler has the better defense of only absorbing 3.23 significant strikes per minute (60%) against the Azerbaijani striker’s 5.17 (48% rate).
In the grappling department, Gamrot dominates in the takedown average per 15 minutes with 4.54 (31% accuracy) versus Fiziev’s 0.31 (40% accuracy). The 32-year-old also has a 0.17 submission average per 15 minutes versus the 30-year-old’s 0, but both athletes have identical 90% takedown defense.
This lightweight match is another classic battle between a striker and a grappler; thus, it will be interesting to see what fight plan and strategy they will employ to maximize their skill sets. For Fiziev, he only needs to land one big shot to put Gamrot on the mat and win the contest. His Muay Thai striking is going to be on full display.
On the other hand, Gamrot needs to neutralize the power that his upcoming opponent possesses. His wrestling and grappling will be key in the match, especially if he times his level change perfectly when Fiziev throws his punches. He used the same strategy against Stephens, who was also a feared knockout artist, to submit him in their fight.
However, Fiziev’s takedown defense should be decent enough to stop Gamrot’s wrestling. Also, “Ataman” has a relentless forward-moving pressure that forces his opponents to make mistakes, and from those mistake, he capitalizes on them to land his signature knockout blow. A win for Fiziev can push his name inside the top-five rankings.
Official Prediction: TKO/KO victory for Rafael Fiziev.
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