UFC 285: Mateusz Gamrot, Jalin Turner discuss how short-notice fight came to be and the gamble they are taking
Mateusz Gamroth and Jalyn Turner found themselves in a pair of not the most convenient circumstances, but in the pursuit of fame, you have to make concessions. Gamroth and Turner have the opportunity to showcase their potential on the main card of Jon Jones’ highly anticipated return at UFC 285 on Saturday.
Turner was originally scheduled to fight Dan Hooker in a Fight of the Night candidate between two established hitters. The fight would have required Turner, #10 in the UFC, to fight back in exchange for the remaining value of Hooker’s name (#11). Unfortunately, Hooker broke his arm and Turner was left without an opponent. UFC matchmakers picked up the phone, and Gamrot answered the call with three weeks’ notice.
Polish Gamrot (No. 7) is arguably the best clean lightweight wrestler in stark contrast to the challenges Hooker throws. Turner now has the opportunity to accelerate his rise to the world title, but he admits that going from Hooker to Gamroth on short notice is not the wisest decision.
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“To be honest, no, but I don’t look at it that way. I’m chasing greatness,” Turner told CBS Sports. “So we’re going to see what we get out of this. Or, if I do everything the way I think the fight will go, we’ll just start from there. And I just want to keep climbing the rankings anyway. So why not fight at number seven instead of sitting back and waiting for someone lower in rank?”
“I just wanted to stay on the map. I want to fight, you understand? And at the same time, I thought, who better to try to test your grappling achievements with than with Gamroth?
Check out the full interview with Jalyn Turner below.
Gamrot publicly advocated fighting Michael Chandler, who since he was paired with Conor McGregor train in The Ultimate Fighter. Wanting to change his fortunes after failing Beneil Dariush at UFC 280, Gamroth accepted an urgent request to fight a lower ranked opponent. Expect a cool and collected Gamroth, despite his desire for a steady course.
“It was a really great lesson. I learned a lot from the Dariush fight,” Gamroth told CBS Sports, noting that he trained with Dustin Poirier to prepare for Turner. “Dariush is a great person. I have a lot of respect for him and wish him all the best. I hope he gets the belt in the future. It was a big lesson. My emotions. My last event in Abu Dhabi was a big event, a big pay-per-view, a big press conference I think during the fight I had too many emotions now it would be very different now as I said I have matured as a fighter I have a cold heart I know what I have to do and I can’t wait for this fight.
“I made a couple of mistakes. Maybe I wanted to do my wrestling too much. My wrestling was not well prepared. Sometimes I shoot too much in the legs and Dariush could see everything. But now it will be completely different. my striking skills. I believe in my punches and the fight with Jalyn Turner, I want to make the fucking blood in the cage.”
Check out the full interview with Mateusz Gamrot below.
Turner’s willingness to take on Gamroth under less than ideal circumstances is rooted in his peerless self-confidence. Turner is fearless and more than happy to satisfy Gamroth’s bloodlust.
“I am not afraid of anyone who might bleed. We all bleed the same way,” Turner said. “I have always been like this. I have always been proud of this. I just didn’t want to make the career of that guy who was fighting somebody all the time. I want to be a champion. .”