The Ultimate Fighting Championship returns to the UFC Apex in Las Vegas on Saturday for UFC Fight Night 228, featuring a surprisingly solid main card. The headliner will see Rafael Fiziev and Mateusz Gamrot trying to break back into the lightweight elite. Additionally, two other bouts include Bryce Mitchell taking on Dan Ige in an excellent featherweight co-main event, and Marina Rodriguez facing Michelle Waterson-Gomez in a rematch of their 2021 headliner. Add in two intriguing prospect matchups, and this event serves as a solid capper to a long stretch of non-stop fight weeks.
Rafael Fiziev (12-2, 6-2 UFC) and Mateusz Gamrot (22-2, 5-2 UFC) will face off in the main event, with Fiziev favored at -155 and Gamrot at +130. Gamrot entered the UFC in 2020 with high expectations and immediately hit the ground running towards title contention. After a shocking debut loss to Guram Kutateladze, Gamrot found his groove in 2021, knocking out Scott Holtzman, tapping out Jeremy Stephens, and physically breaking Diego Ferreira. His relentless wrestling game has made him an entertaining fighter to watch, setting up an interesting matchup against the always-violent Fiziev.
Similar to Gamrot, Fiziev suffered a disappointing loss in his UFC debut, getting knocked out by Magomed Mustafaev in just 86 seconds. However, after regaining his momentum with a win over Marc Diakiese in 2020, Fiziev has become one of the hottest rising talents in the sport. His impressive performances include brutal knockouts of Renato Carneiro and Brad Riddell, as well as a violent three-round war against Bobby Green. Fiziev’s narrow March loss to Justin Gaethje showed both the strengths and weaknesses of his striking style, but his takedown defense has held up well overall.
Predictions and Betting Odds
The main event between Fiziev and Gamrot is expected to be a closely contested affair. Gamrot’s relentless wrestling game could pose problems for Fiziev, particularly his low single-leg takedowns and ability to tire out his opponents. However, Fiziev has the striking advantage and could neutralize some of Gamrot’s takedowns to dominate or even finish the fight. The pick is Gamrot via decision.
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Fiziev vs. Gamrot
Mitchell vs. Ige
Rodriguez vs. Waterson-Gomez
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