Lightweight contenders Mateusz Gamrot and Beneil Dariush were in action on the UFC 280 main card, with Dariush returning to the octagon for the first time in well over a year.
Dariush had last competed in May of 2021 at UFC 262, when he defeated Tony Ferguson to claim his seventh straight win. That streak tied his career best, while Gamrot, who had joined the UFC just six months or so prior to Dariush’s Ferguson win, had since put together four straight wins of his own.
If ring rust was an issue for Dariush on Saturday in Abu Dhabi, it didn’t show early. He opened with a high kick, and unloaded with a couple of shots that appeared to pop the cauliflower ear of Gamrot. That led to a body lock from Gamot, but Dariush broke free. They would go to the ground with just over three minutes to go, care of a caught kick by Gamrot, with Dariush attacking a leg. Gamrot pulled free and the pair scrambled up with Gamrot again taking the back care of another body lock.
This time, Dariush broke free and the pair moved back to center. Gamrot again shot in, a bit sloppy, and Dariush nearly took control. He used a kimura to stall Gamrot, dropped an elbow or two, and regained his feet. Gamrot nearly caught a kick to the body; they ran down the clock working in the stand-up department.
Round two saw a quick start, with the pair trading, circling, and exchanging again. Dariush had his jab going; in an exchange, Gamrot dropped to snatch a leg but didn’t have it. Dariush was in the driver’s seat in the second, and he timed a couple of knees well as Gamrot came in. Dariush stuffed another takedown, and followed up with a couple of strikes landed. The second was a much more decisive round, in the favor of Beneil Dariush.
Mateusz Gamrot shot early in the third, leading to a scramble with Dariush breaking free. Back on the feet, Dariush just grazed Gamrot with a head kick. He’d follow up with a kick to the thigh, then another, focusing on Gamrot’s lead leg. Between the knees in the second and the kicks in the third, Dariush was keeping Gamrot guessing — and perhaps making him hesitant on some of his entries.
With time wearing down, Dariush sealed the deal. Gamrot moved forward, and with a crack, Dariush dropped his opponent with a right hand. Gamrot recovered, but with a minute to go and Dariush not even tiring, the fight was in the bag. Gamrot would take the fight down one last time, but it really didn’t matter.
Official Result: Beneil Dariush def. Mateusz Gamrot by unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 29-28)