It's finally time for the Main Event of UFC Vegas 79 as we see two exciting contenders battle it out for supremacy in the Lightweight (155 lb) Division. No. 6 ranked Rafael Fiziev will square off against Poland's No. 7 ranked Mateusz Gamrot. Check out our UFC odds series for our Fiziev-Gamrot prediction and pick.
Rafael Fiziev (12-2) comes into this fight with a 6-2 record in the UFC. After accumulating a six-fight win streak that he capped off by beating Rafael Dos Anjos in a Main Event, Fiziev lost a big fight against Justin Gaethje. While it didn't hurt his stock too much, he's still got work to do in order to reach the top of the division, and putting away Gamrot could be the win he needs. Fiziev stands 5'8″ with a 71.5-inch reach.
Mateusz Gamrot (22-2) comes into this fight with a 5-2 record in the UFC. He's a highly-touted former undefeated champion at KSW and he's been translating it well to the UFC. While he dropped a fight to Beneil Dariush recently, he bounced back in a big way with a win over Jalin Turner in a his last fight. He'll be looking to once again put his wrestling on full display in this one. Gamrot stands 5'10” with a 70.5-inch reach.
Here are the UFC Odds, courtesy of FanDuel.
UFC Vegas 79 Odds: Rafael Fiziev-Mateusz Gamrot Odds
Rafael Fiziev: -162
Mateusz Gamrot: +132
Over 4.5 rounds: -122
Under 4.5 rounds: -106
How to Watch Rafael Fiziev vs. Mateusz Gamrot
Stream: ESPN App, UFC Fight Pass
Time: 7:00 p.m. ET/ 4:00 p.m. PT (Main Card)
*Watch sports LIVE with fuboTV (click for a free trial)*
Why Rafael Fiziev Will Win
Rafael Fiziev will be taking a step down in competition to once again prove himself after dropping his last fight to Justin Gaethje. While a loss to Gaethje is nothing to hang one's head about, Fiziev realizes he needs a few more signature wins before placing himself in the title discussion again. In that fight, his striking abilities were on full display from his powerful punches to his spinning kicks. However, Gaethje moved methodically around him and ultimately wore on Fiziev's gas tank by the later rounds. He'll want to keep his activity high without surrendering accuracy against a guy like Gamrot. If he can hit the target clean early, he could pounce for a quick finish in this one.
Fiziev will clearly have to be on alert when it comes to stuffing the takedown. Gamrot is a chain wrestler and we've seen him overwhelm strikers with his grappling in the past. To be successful in this fight, Fiziev will have the fend off the takedowns relentlessly and keep this fight on the feet. He's got way too many options for finishing this fight with his striking, so there's no need for Fiziev to be spending any time on the mat with Gamrot. Expect Rafael Fiziev to show off some impressive takedown defense in this fight.
Why Mateusz Gamrot Will Win
Mateusz Gamrot was stifled against Beneil Dariush because he couldn't feel confident in his grappling against someone with such a dangerous submission threat. However, against a much longer striker like Jalin Turner, Gamrot was able to have his way in the wrestling and basically win the fight off ground control time. While it may not have been the prettiest split decision, there's no denying Gamrot's chain wrestling is extremely effective, especially against fighters who struggle to stand up from the ground. His jiu-jitsu is also very underrated and if he's got advantageous position on the ground, he's likely landing hard, effective ground-and-pound.
To win this fight, the clearest path to victory for Gamrot seems to be opting towards a wrestling-heavy attack. Fiziev has an extremely impressive takedown defense of 90%, so Gamrot won't be able to solely rely on his wrestling to have success. On the feet, he should continue to utilize his active head movement and work his way inside on Fiziev. His hands aren't as fast, but he'll have plenty of opportunities for counter shots up the middle if he can make Fiziev miss on the first punch.
Final Rafael Fiziev-Mateusz Gamrot Prediction & Pick
This should be a very interesting Main Event between two differing styles. Both guys are wild with their wrestling and striking, relentlessly looking to impose their will on the opponent. With both guys possessing a 90% takedown defense rate, there's a strong chance this fight may not see the ground. From there, Rafael Fiziev has to be given the edge with how refined his striking is. The performance against Gaethje may be cause for some recency bias on the betting lines, but Fiziev seems to be like the clear favorite here if he can negate the wrestling of Gamrot. For the prediction, let's go with Rafael Fiziev to get this win and insert himself back into title talks.
Final Rafael Fiziev-Mateusz Gamrot Prediction & Pick: Rafael Fiziev (-162)