A rough start early gave way to a tenacious performance from Gamrot over the final three rounds, which is what ultimately helped him get the nod on the scorecards. All three judges had the fight 48-47 with Gamrot picking up his biggest win to date over a highly touted prospect in Tsarukyan.
The win also gave Gamrot the opportunity to ask for a matchup against arguably the most exciting fighter on the entire UFC roster for his next opponent.
“This was a very tough fight,” Gamrot said. “Arman is a very tough guy. We are a new generation. I hope we train in the future.
“I am ready for f****** every single guy in the division. In the future, I will be a champion for sure. I want to fight with Justin Gaethje. Justin Gaethje’s the most brutal guy in the division. I want to fight next with him.”
Prior to the callout, Gamrot first had to get through Tsarukyan, which was no easy task as the Armenian-born contender gave him everything he could handle over 25 minutes.
It was an aggressive strategy shown by Tsarukyan when the fight got started with Gamrot countering by looking for a couple of slick single-leg takedown attempts. It ended up with Tsarukyan scoring first by putting Gamrot on the ground, but the former two-division KSW champion was quick to break free before the welterweights returned to the feet.
The wild scrambles continued in almost every exchange with Tsarukyan and Gamrot constantly battling for position, neither man willing to give an inch.
When the fighters stayed standing for any significant amount of time, it was Tsarukyan who did damage with his kicks as he blasted Gamrot to the body on several occasions. It seemed like every time Gamrot tried to switch to a southpaw stance, Tsarukyan made him pay with his kicks.
As the action moved into the third round, Gamrot was displaying the better boxing as he continued to hunt for the takedown with Tsarukyan showcasing effective defense. When Gamrot was finally able to close the distance and maintain position, he dragged Tsarukyan to the ground while also controlling him from the clinch against the cage.
While it appeared that Gamrot was gaining confidence, Tsarukyan didn’t back down as he continued firing back with a variety of strikes including a spinning back kick that reverberated off the ribs.
Just when it looked like Gamrot was starting to connect with his boxing combinations, Tsarukyan fired back with a huge spinning backfist that stunned the Polish welterweight. Gamrot came right back at him with a takedown that put Tsarukyan in trouble on the canvas for the first time as he looked for a rear-naked choke.
Tsarukyan exploded out of the position to break free, but Gamrot was relentless as the fight moved to the final five minutes.
Realizing that his wrestling could help him secure the victory, Gamrot went right back to the takedown again in the fifth round with Tsarukyan doing everything possible to stay at a distance. While Tsarukyan was able to stay on target with some of his strikes, he also had to fight off Gamrot’s wrestling, which negated much of his offense.
It seems that was ultimately the difference in the fight with the judges rewarding Gamrot’s grappling and control over the strikes landed by Tsarukyan.
“I don’t know what happened,” Tsarukyan said. “This camp was very good. But I don’t know. I had to show a better fight than this one. I know me. It was my first time five rounds, that’s probably why it was difficult. I thought I won this fight. I thought I won three rounds.”
It was an extremely close affair throughout so it’s understandable if the scorecards were all over the place but the judges actually all agreed on every single round with Tsarukyan capturing the first and the second and Gamrot securing the decision by winning the final three.
Considering the pedigree these two showed on Saturday night, it’s hard to imagine they won’t meet again but for now Gamrot can enjoy his victory as he starts looking towards the fights that could potentially put him in title contention.