Round 1 – Tsarukyan level changes as Gamrot closes the distance, it’s stuffed, almost reversed, and now they separate. Quite a little scramble there. Gamrot tries for a takedown but doesn’t follow through. They’re in the middle at the 3:30 mark. Now a perfectly timed takedown by Tsarukyan off a Gamrot leg kick. These scrambles are wild. Great rolls by Gamrot to get back to standing and now they clinch with 2:20 left. Off the break, they’re standing in the center again. A head kick by Tsarukyan grazes Gamrot’s dome. Gamrot catches a kick, but Tsarukyan’s flexibility allows him to escape any danger and keep his balance. Big body kick from Tsarukyan followed by a kick to the head that just misses. Wow, another wild scramble to close out the round. A lot of action, close, but we’ll lean 10-9 Tsarukyan as he landed the most memorable strikes of the round.
Round 2 – Another instance of a body kick caught by Gamrot, but Tsarukyan keeps his balance. He follows up with a leg kick that lands. Tsarukyan keeps coming with the kicks, and they’re landing to the body. Gamrot is swinging from far away and missing his punches so far, struggling to find range. Wow, the sound of that body kick to Gamrot. Yikes. Tsarukyan keeps blasting those kicks and is landing hard. Tsarukyan shoots in for the first time this round, but he can’t get it. Nice defense by Gamrot. Another takedown attempt by Tsarukyan ends with them tied up side by side, stalemate, so they’re back to the feet. Oh man, another body kick from Tsarukyan looks like it hurt Gamrot. Big right hand for Gamrot in the final seconds. Those kicks from Tsarukyan are the difference in an otherwise close round, so he gets it 10-9 and is up 20-18 on our card.
Round 3 – Immediately Tsarukyan throws a body kick that lands. Neither guy appears to be fatigued. Nice right hand from Gamrot. Nice couple of jabs from Tsarukyan and then lands a hard right hand to the face, his best of the night. Gamrot tries to take him down with a single but again, Tsarukyan’s flexibility wins out. Nice counter punches from Gamrot. Another takedown from Gamrot, which is successful but only momentarily. They’re on their feet with Gamrot as a backpack, but Tsarukyan will not stop moving and scrambling to escape. He’s working the wrists to break the grip. Gamrot finally gets it down to the mat, but Tsarukyan is back up and finally turns in to face Gamrot. They break and are at the center of the cage with 90 seconds remaining. Nice sprawl from Gamrot on a takedown attempt, and he’s showing his balance. No takedown. Tsarukyan hits a hard spinning back ick to the chest, but Gamrot absorbds it nicely. Another heavy body kick from Tsarukyan. Man, that was a pretty action-packed round. Gamrot had some good control time, but again the more impactful shots were landed by Tsarukyan, who we give it slightly 10-9. He’s up 30-27 on our card.
Round 4 – They both come out firing to open the round. Nice left hand by Gamrot. There’s a bit of swelling and a cut under Tsarukyan’s left eye. Tsarukyan throws a kick, misses, but uses his momentum to land a big spinning backfist that drops Gamrot. Somehow Gamrot recovers and gets a takedown, but again it’s brief after they separate. Two good punches from Gamrot, but Tsarukyan responds with a nice attack. Another stiff 1-2 from Tsarukyan, followed by another heavy kick. But Gamrot absorbs it and gets another takedown. Tsarukyan gets back to his feet quickly, though, but Gamrot is on his back and drags him down. Gamrot has Tsarukyan in an awkward position now, dangerous, with his leg trapped underneath and bent backwards. But somehow Tsarukyan escapes it. Another wild round of action, and we’ve got that one for Gamrot but close. 10-9.
Round 5 – Good leg kick from Tsarukyan knocks down Gamrot. Another one, too. Nice right cross from Gamrot. Tsarukyan shoots in and is stuffed. Nice takedown by Gamrot, who circles immediately to the back. Tsarukyan looks a little lost and keeps staring at the clock. He could be tiring with Gamrot on him against the fence. Now he’s up to his feet with Gamrot on his back. Tsarukyan circles to escape, and they are in the center with 2:40 left. A telegraphed spinning backfist almost leads to a Gamrot takedown. Nice kick by Tsarukyan. Good combo to follow and then a body kick. A big right hand from Gamrot finds a home. Gamrot tries for a takedown but is stuffed. Tsarukyan attacks with a combo that backs up Gamrot. Neither man is slowing down here. They’re just throwing and both landing. Such a close round with 30 seconds left. Gamrot gets a takedown and is on Tsarukyan’s back with 20 seconds left. Unsuccessful roll to escape. Tsarukyan with one more reversal and gets in a few final punches. Such a close round, and we’re going 10-9 for Gamrot. Close close CLOSE fight that we have 48-47 overall for Tsarukyan.
result: Mateusz Gamrot def. Arman Tsarukyan via unanimous decision (48-47, 48-47, 48-47)
Photos: UFC on ESPN 38: Best photos from Las Vegas
Records: Arman Tsarukyan (18-3 MMA, 5-2 UFC), Mateusz Gamrot (21-1 MMA, 3-1 UFC)
Referee: Jason Herzog