Following his win over Arman Tsarukyan in Saturday’s UFC Vegas 57 main event, Gamrot spoke to the media and relayed a brief conversation he had with Nurmagomedov, the former UFC lightweight champion widely regarded as one of the best ever to compete in MMA.
“I’m a big fan of Justin Gaethje,” Gamrot said. “I have a lot of respect for him, I think he’s the most brutal guy in the lightweight division. This guy fought two times in title shots. I think he is old school, I am new generation, now I want to switch places. I start climbing in the top.
“Today, I was asking with Khabib, he said to me, ‘Congratulations on your fight. You are a nice guy. For sure, in the future you will meet with Islam in a fight.’ So I keep my fingers crossed for Islam, I think Islam beats Charles Oliveira next fight, and I want a next fight with Justin and next fighting with Islam. Simple plan.”
Though nothing is official yet, Makhachev is expected to fight Oliveira in the near future for a vacant lightweight title following Oliveira losing the belt on the scale at UFC 274 this past May. Should Makhachev become champion, Gamrot has already envisioned the path he has to take for the two of them to meet in a title fight.
Nurmagomedov was in attendance at UFC APEX in Las Vegas on Saturday, so he had the chance to see Gamrot compete in a thrilling five-round fight against Tsarukyan. Gamrot’s team had to be in top form to coach their fighter to victory after a slow start.
“My corner told me, ‘Hey, you lose the first and second round,’” Gamrot said. “And I know that I have to accelerate. If I want to win, I have to accelerate to another round. But I told you in the press conference before the fight, I am experienced. I’m used to fighting five rounds, I’m used to big pressure, I used to be the champion, you know?
“I saw Arman’s eyes, that he was going down every single round. His conditioning going down, my conditioning going up, and I knew that conditioning was going to be key this fight.”
Regarding inspirational words received from former UFC champions, Nurmagomedov’s name wasn’t the only one that came up during Gamrot’s media scrum. The Polish standout was also asked about the influence of his countrywoman, the recently retired former UFC strawweight champion Joanna Jedrzejczyk.
Gamrot credited Jedrzejczyk with pushing him in his own career.
“Joanna is my really good friend,” Gamrot said. “She helped me a lot too when I signed a contract to the UFC. She helped me a lot every single day. She gave me a lot of motivation and now I’m so happy that she’s going to retire because I think she deserves that.
“She deserves everything beautiful in life. She was a superstar in the UFC for many years, she was five or six times the world champion, she did everything in the UFC. She is a true warrior, a true fighter, she has a strong mentality, and I wish her all the best in life.”