A packed weekend of action in MMA wraps up this Saturday night when the UFC returns to the UFC Apex facility for the first of three straight cards in Las Vegas, beginning with UFC Vegas 57 and the UFC Vegas 57 main event.
Live coverage of Saturday"s card begins on ESPN2 with the prelims at 7 pm ET/ 4 pm PT, followed at 10 pm ET/ 7 pm PT on ESPN with main card action.
TV Note: ESPN is scheduled to broadcast Game 1 of this year"s NCAA Division I College World Series Final at 7 pm ET/ 4 pm PT on Saturday, meaning that the telecast of UFC Vegas 57"s main card may be joined in-progress should the baseball game run long.
All told, UFC Vegas 57 will feature a full 12-fight card this Saturday night.
Lightweight Showdown On Tap For UFC Vegas 57 Main Event
Highlighting the night"s activities on Saturday is a lightweight bout in the UFC Vegas 57 main event when No. 11 contender Arman Tsarukyan (18-2 MMA, 5-1 UFC) takes on No. 12 contender Mateusz Gamrot (20-1, 1 NC MMA, 3-1 UFC).
As with all UFC main events, Saturday"s headliner will be a maximum of five rounds at five minutes per round to close the show in Las Vegas.
UFC Vegas 57 Fighter Comparison
Entering the UFC Vegas 57 main event on Saturday, Mateusz Gamrot stands as the taller man at 5-foot-10, compared to the 5-foot-7 frame of Arman Tsarukyan.
However, Tsarukyan holds the advantages in both arm reach (72 1/2 inches to 70 1/2 inches) and leg reach (39 1/2 inches to 39 inches even) over Mateusz Gamrot heading into the main attraction this Saturday night.
Arman Tsarukyan Looks to Ride Momentum of Five-Fight Winning Streak into UFC Vegas 57 Main Event
Arman Tsarukyan comes into the UFC Vegas 57 main event on Saturday night having posted an undefeated 5-0 record in his last five MMA contests.
Last time out, he scored a second-round knockout due to ground and pound strikes against Joel Alvarez back in February during UFC Vegas 49.
Tsarukyan spoke to the press on Wednesday, and he believes that a victory this coming weekend will elevate him into the conversation as far as contender status is concerned.
“After I win this fight, it"s going to be very different," Tsarukyan said to the media. “Everybody"s going to talk about me. After this fight, I"m going to be a contender."
Of Tsarukyan"s last five wins, two of them have been recorded by way of knockout, and he expects no different in the UFC Vegas 57 main event on Saturday.
“UFC fans like when I finish [the fight]", he said. “This fight is going to be finished, too. I"m going to finish Gamrot. It"s going to be a good fight, and after this fight, I"m going to talk a lot about my division."
These are confident words from Arman Tsarukyan, but the time for talk is through, and now, the question is can he back up those words on Saturday?
Mateusz Gamrot Ready For Aggressive Fight With Arman Tsarukyan
In the other corner, Mateusz Gamrot, formerly the KSW Featherweight and Lightweight Champion, has posted a 4-1 mark in his last five fights and has gone 3-1 since joining the UFC in October of 2020.
All three of his wins in Dana White"s promotion have come inside the distance, including his latest one right before Christmas last December against Diego Ferreira during UFC Vegas 45, a second-round TKO upon Ferreira submitting to strikes.
But a finish isn"t what the former champion wants this time around, as he explained in his media availability Wednesday.
“I don"t want to finish the fight too early," Gamrot told the press on Wednesday. “I want to fight five rounds. This is going to be five rounds of violence. This is probably going to be the biggest test for me so far and I"m super ready for this guy. If I see an opportunity early, I will take it."
Both men provided bulletin board material for the other fighter"s camp on Wednesday, and all that remains is for the cage door to close and the fight to take place.
Analysis, Film Study, and Prediction
Stylistically, the UFC Vegas 57 main event on Saturday night seems to favor Arman Tsarukyan, a Master of Sport in both MMA and Freestyle Wrestling, compared to Mateusz Gamrot"s black-belt in Brazilian jiu-jitsu.
Both of these men have wrestling backgrounds, so it stands to reason that we could be looking at a fight primarily contested on the cage mat this Saturday.
Tsarukyan Can Punch His Way to a Win
In looking at the video of Arman Tsarukyan"s past fights, one aspect of his fight game that"s particularly evident is his ability to score the knockout, as he did against Christos Giagos late last summer.
Although the fight was scheduled for three rounds, Tsarukyan only needed a small fraction of that time to complete the job.
He and Giagos paced against one another as both of them bided their time in hopes of throwing a shot at the right moment, with Tsarukyan scoring with an early kick to Giagos" head.
A few moments later, Giagos scrambled with Tsarukyan to take him down, establishing top control, albeit momentarily, as Tsarukyan muscled his way back up to the cage fence to free himself, eventually breaking away from a Giagos clinch.
From there, Tsarukyan peppered Giagos with a few kicks before sending him down with a punch, finally punctuating the victory with serious ground and pound shots to the back of Giagos" head to end the fight.
If Tsarukyan can time his punches correctly, he can effectively control the UFC Vegas 57 main event and score the knockout.
Gamrot"s Submissions May Tell The Tale
In the other corner, Mateusz Gamrot can be brutal on the ground, something that Jeremy Stephens knows all too well from their encounter last July.
During the first round of a scheduled three, Gamrot grabbed hold of Stephens" leg to score the takedown, keeping the fight on the ground for as long as it lasted.
Although Stephens attempted a kimura submission, Gamrot was able to reverse into a kimura of his own, applying the necessary pressure to lock in the submission in one minute and six seconds, making it the fastest victory by kimura in UFC promotional history.
If Gamrot is able to get this fight to the ground, look for him to try and hunt for the submission.
The UFC Vegas 57 main event is shaping up to be a rather appealing fight, with both Tsarukyan and Gamrot trying to make a case as the newest contender at 155 lbs.
You won"t want to miss this intriguing contest.
Prediction: Arman Tsarukyan by Unanimous Decision.
Featured image credit to Ultimate Fighting Championship