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USA Today Sports Media Group
USA Today Sports Media Group
Matthew Wells and Ken Hathaway

Mateusz Gamrot eyes 2024 matchup against former champion Charles Oliveira to test ground skills

LAS VEGAS – Mateusz Gamrot picked up his second UFC main event victory, and now wants a piece of former champion Charles Oliveira.

In the main event of UFC Fight Night 228 at the UFC Apex, Gamrot got his hand raised over Rafael Fiziev, but it wasn’t in a manner anyone anticipated. Fiziev threw a hard right kick to Gamrot’s body, which was defended well. However, Fiziev’s left knee buckled and he immediately fell to the canvas, resulting in a second-round injury stoppage.

“This was an unfortunate situation, nobody knows what happened in the cage,” Gamrot told reporters during a post-fight news conference. “Two things: first, win is win, like we are sportsmen. Another one is, sometimes if you have camp, you prepare attacks. You prepare kicks, you prepare punches, but also I prepare my defense for these kicks because I know Rafa would be kicking a lot.”

Gamrot certainly didn’t expect Fiziev to suffer an injury, but the result still goes down as his second main event win under the UFC banner. His first came against Arman Tsarukyan last June, a fight Gamrot won by unanimous decision in the same building.

As for what’s next, Gamrot wants to test himself against one of the elites of the lightweight division, former champion Charles Oliveira. While “Do Bronx” is currently set to rematch Islam Makhachev for the lightweight title at UFC 294, Gamrot is willing to wait until early 2024.

“In the next one, I would like to test myself against Charles Oliveira, because he’s the most dangerous guy on the ground,” Gamrot said. “My previous opponents, every time stand up, stand up – the ground is hard for everybody. The next one, I would like to challenge myself on the ground. I want to show my really good skills in jiu-jitsu. I want to show how good I am on the ground. I think this guy will be the first guy in my career who wants to fight with me on the ground.”

Gamrot doesn’t believe Oliveira will reclaim the lightweight title in October, but that doesn’t make any difference to him.

“I know he has a fight soon in the next month with the champ,” Gamrot said. “My prediction is the result will be the same as last time: Islam defends his belt. I can wait for Charles Oliveira to next year. Doesn’t matter. Maybe March, maybe April, maybe May. I will be ready for him and I want to fight with him.”

For more on the card, visit MMA Junkie’s event hub for UFC Fight Night 228.

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