- What: UFC Vegas 79
- Who: Rafael Fiziev vs. Mateusz Gamrot
- Date: Saturday, September 23, 2023
- Location: UFC Apex in Las Vegas, NV
- Time: Prelims (4:00 p.m. ET) Main Card (7:00 p.m. ET)
- How to Watch: ESPN+
A high-profile lightweight scrap headlines Saturday’s UFC Vegas 79 event from the Apex in Las Vegas. In the main event of that card, two 155-pound title hopefuls, Rafael Fiziev and Mateusz Gamrot, face off. Both men are ranked inside the top 10 in the official UFC lightweight rankings. Fiziev enters the contest at No. 6, and Gamrot is one spot below him at No. 7. Here is some information on Fiziev vs. Gamrot before we discuss the betting breakdown for the UFC Vegas 79 fight card.
Rafael Fiziev (12-2) lost his UFC debut in 2019. He then went on a six-fight winning streak, which included a July 2022 knockout victory over former UFC lightweight champion Rafael dos Anjos. That run ended in March when ex-interim UFC 155-pound champ Justin Gaethje defeated Fiziev via majority decision. Fiziev has won a fight-night bonus in each of his past six UFC outings.
Mateusz Gamrot (22-2-0-1) also lost his UFC debut. He then won four in a row before Beneil Dariush bested him via unanimous decision in October 2022. Gamrot bounced back from that setback with a March split decision win over Jalin Turner.
Before we look at the best bets for the Fiziev vs. Gamrot matchup at UFC Vegas 79, check out the best UFC betting sites and our betting picks for the main event of UFC 294, Islam Makhachev vs. Charles Oliveira 2.
UFC Vegas 79 main event: Rafael Fiziev vs. Mateusz Gamrot betting picks
UFC Vegas 79 main event: Rafael Fiziev vs. Mateusz Gamrot betting breakdown
Rafael Fiziev is one of the quicker strikers in the UFC lightweight division. His speed with his hands, his fast and powerful kicks, and his ability to switch stances with ease make him a dangerous fighter. Another thing to watch with Fiziev is his patience. He doesn’t rush things. His confidence in his ability and the speed of his attacks allow him to take his time to break down his opponents over time, allowing him to bank rounds without worrying too much about chasing knockouts.
Where Fiziev is known for his striking, Mateusz Gamrot excels in the wrestling department. That’s something he needs to use against a fighter like Fiziev. Ideally, Gamrot will land his takedowns, but just the threat that he can shoot and take the fight to the mat at any time adds something to his arsenal that could get Fiziev thinking about what’s coming and throw him off his rhythm. Gamrot also has a good gas tank, and that could help him in the fourth and fifth rounds when it comes to his wrestling skills.
There are some who thought Fiziev approached the Gaethje fight with too much confidence. Don’t expect him to make that mistake again, as a loss to Gamrot will drop him down the rankings more than a loss to an ex-title challenger and interim champ like Gaethje did.
UFC Vegas 79 main event: Rafael Fiziev vs. Mateusz Gamrot statistical breakdown
I wouldn’t go so far as to say that this fight is strictly a striker vs. grappler battle, but it’s close. Fiziev lands 5.06 significant strikes per minute as opposed to Gamrot’s 3.03. Both fighters land at a 51 percent strikng accuracy. As for strikes absorbed, Fiziev gets hit at a rate of 5.17 strikes per minute, while Gamrot gets tagged at a lower rate of 3.23 strikes per minute. As for striking defense, Gamrot has the edge there at 60 percent vs. 48 percent.
The grappling game is where things could get interesting. While Gamrot lands 4.54 takedowns per minute, he only has a success rate of 31 percent of his takedowns, and Fiziev has a 90 percent takedown defense rate. He showed off those skills when he stopped 14 of 16 takedown attempts in his win over Rafael dos Anjos.
Best Bets: UFC Vegas 79 main event – Rafael Fiziev vs. Mateusz Gamrot
Surprisingly, Fiziev is not a considerable betting favorite in this contest. After all, he was a -230 favorite over Gaethje, who was a +195 betting underdog in that contest. With that in mind, Fiziev presents a fair amount of betting value against Gamrot despite being the favorite
When looking at placing a bet on this fight one has to consider the style they favor. Will Fiziev’s striking and takedown defense carry the day or will Gamrot’s wrestling and ground control lead him to victory? Gamrot is a live betting underdog, and if one feels his pressure and grappling will be too much for Fiziev, he’s a good value bet to win the fight in an upset. I don’t think that will happen. My betting pick is that Fiziev’s fast and powerful hands and ability to defend takedowns will earn him the win via decision or possibly, knockout.
Best UFC Vegas 79 Main Event Betting Pick: Rafael Fiziev to beat Mateusz Gamrot via decision.
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