Mateusz Gamrot couldn’t have been happier to get the short notice call to fight Jalin Turner at UFC 285: Jones vs Gane.
The No. 7 ranked lightweight came out on the wrong side of a decision last October when he faced Beneil Dariush at UFC 280. That loss lit a fire under Gamrot, putting him right back into training camp at American Top Team while he waited for his chance to get back in the Octagon.
That’s when Gamrot got word that the UFC wanted him to step in for an injured Dan Hooker versus Turner.
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“After my last fight, I didn’t feel like I deserved to go on holiday or have a long break, so a few days after the fight I was back in the gym training hard while waiting for a new opportunity,” Gamrot told UFC.com. “I learned big lessons from my last fight.”
Even though Gamrot didn’t get by Dariush, the 32-year-old Poland native absolutely showed that he has the goods to compete with the lightweight division’s best talents.
Gamrot believes to beat contenders like Dariush, he needed to change his approach a bit, especially when it comes to dealing with the pressure of competing on big events such as he will at UFC 285. Controlling his emotions in those big situations and using his Fight IQ to his advantage are two big takeaways that Gamrot is confident he’ll be able to bring into his showdown with Turner.
“My attitude is a lot different than before. Last time was a big event, a big card, and maybe that’s why I lost my emotion,” Gamrot said. “I am a much more mature MMA fighter than before.”
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He might not have fought on a big PPV card in Las Vegas, but all four of his UFC victories have come at the UFC APEX, just 10 minutes down the road from T-Mobile Arena.
Those wins came against Scott Holtzman, Jeremy Stephens, Diego Ferreira, and Armen Tsarukyan. That’s a high-quality strength of schedule and put Gamrot on the map as a true contender.
Rise Of Mateusz Gamrot
Rise Of Mateusz Gamrot
Beating Turner in emphatic fashion at UFC 285 would go a long way in helping “Gamer” get back within reach of a title shot. Gamrot can recognize that Turner presents some unique challenges in thanks to his striking and his size.
And while he’s not looking past “The Tarantula,” the loss to Dariush made him hungrier than ever.
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“Jalin has a five-win streak, with five finishes. He’s a rising star and if I beat him at UFC 285 then my next opponent will be a Top 5 fighter and a win there and maybe I could get a title shot. But my focus is beating Jalin on Saturday night,” Gamrot said. “I want to make a statement that I’m one of the best guys in the lightweight division and that’s it.”
Gamrot wasn’t shy about giving Turner his flowers, but he simply believes that he’s a bad matchup for the Californian.
“Jalin is a really tough opponent with high level striking. He’s super tall, with super reach, and a good guillotine when he defends a takedown – and that’s it,” Gamrot said. “I am not impressed with him. Many times I have fought with guys that have a super level of striking in my career and many times I have fought with taller guys. I am ready for his skills, but I don’t know if he’s ready for my wrestling.”
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Even though Gamrot is interested to see how Turner handles his wrestling and his pressure, he thinks the true key to victory will come down to heart.
“Who wants it more? That guy will win this fight. Last time I lost when I fought Beneil Dariush and this was a big lesson for me.
“I never want to lose again.”
UFC 285: Jones vs Gane took place live from T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada on March 4, 2023. See the Final Results, Official Scorecards and Who Won Bonuses - and relive the action on UFC Fight Pass!