ADCC veteran and top UFC lightweight contender Mateusz Gamrot is reportedly going to serve as the backup for the division’s upcoming title-fight at UFC 294 on October 21st, 2023; the rematch between Charles Oliveira and Islam Makhachev. It’s a massive opportunity for Gamrot, even if he doesn’t actually get the opportunity to step in at the last minute and save the main event. Historically, the UFC has generally looked after those fighters who are willing to wait on standby to fill in when a fight falls apart and it’s usually a clear-cut signal that they’re next in line for a title-shot as well.
Mateusz Gamrot himself initially mentioned the news during an interview in his native Poland and although backup fighters have not been needed all that often, it’s not impossible that he ends up fighting for a title given that Oliveira has had issues making weight in the past. While the opportunity to fight Islam Makhachev for the lightweight title would undoubtedly be a dream come true for Gamrot, he would love the opportunity to step in regardless of who pulls out. He actually called out Oliveira for a fight following his most recent win over Rafael Fiziev at UFC Vegas 79, and that might have even been the catalyst for him getting the chance to serve as a backup for this event.
Gamrot has built up an impressive 23-2 (1) professional record since he made his MMA debut back in 2012 and has won ADCC Trials twice during that time too. He became the KSW featherweight and lightweight champion before eventually deciding to make his UFC debut in 2020. Since that time he’s gone 6-2 in the UFC and although he’s lost a pair of decisions, he’s also managed to register a series of impressive wins against some of the best lightweight competitors on the planet. Even if he doesn’t get the chance to fill in at UFC 294 he’ll undoubtedly at least be fighting one of the division’s top contenders next, if not the champion himself.