Two European lightweight contenders served up classic octagon battle at UFC on ESPN 38 as Mateusz Gamrot edged out Arman Tsarukyan on the scorecards after a thrilling five-rounder at the UFC Apex.
Former two-division KSW champion Gamrot claimed the decision after all three judges unanimously scored the bout 48-47 to the Pole, but the identity of the winner was anything but clear as both men lined up to await the announcement.
Tsarukyan made the better start of the pair and appeared to hold the upper hand through the first two rounds. But Gamrot turned up the dial through rounds three, four (despite being dropped) and five to earn the razor-thin decision victory.
After his victory, Gamrot laid out his ambitious plan for the future as he called out former interim champion Justin Gaethje.
In the co-main event, Kazakhstan’s undefeated welterweight contender Shavkat Rakhmonov claimed his biggest win to date with a second-round guillotine-choke submission of longtime welterweight contender Neil Magny, while earlier on the main card, there was a bonus-winning TKO finish for heavyweight Josh Parisian, who stopped Alan Baudot mid-way through the second round.
There were also notable victories for Thiago Moises, Umar Nurmagomedov, Chris Curtis and Carlos Ulberg.
UFC on ESPN 38: Official Results
- Mateusz Gamrot def. Arman Tsarukyan via unanimous decision (48-47, 48-47, 48-47)
- Shavkat Rakhmonov def. Neil Magny via submission (guillotine choke) – Round 2, 4:58
- Josh Parisian def. Alan Baudot via TKO (punches) – Round 2, 3:04
- Thiago Moises def. Christos Giagos via submission (rear-naked choke) – Round 1, 3:05
- Umar Nurmagomedov def. Nate Maness via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-26, 20-25)
- Chris Curtis def. Rodolfo Vieira via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
- Carlos Ulberg def. Tafon Nchukwi via TKO (punches) – Round 1, 1:15
- Shayilan Nuerdanbieke def. T.J. Brown via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
- Sergey Morozov def. Raulian Paiva via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
- Cody Durden def. JP Buys via TKO (punches) – Round 1, 1:08
- Mario Bautista def. Brian Kelleher via submission (rear-naked choke) – Round 1, 2:27
- Vanessa Demopoulos def. Jinh Yu Frey via split decision (28-29, 29-28, 30-27)