There will be three matchups between ranked fighters on the UFC card this week. The main event will see Rafael Fiziev take on Mateusz Gamrot in a lightweight bout. The co-main event will feature featherweights Bryce Mitchell and Dan Ige squaring off, and Marina Rodriguez will take on Michelle Waterson-Gomez in the third bout. While none of these fighters are currently ranked in the top five in their divisions, they are in that next tier and would receive title shots by stringing together a few wins.
UFC Fight Night: Fiziev vs. Gamrot will take place on Saturday, September 23, 2023, from UFC Apex in Enterprise, Nevada. Since its football season, the entirety of the promotion will be shown on ESPN+ with the prelims starting at 4 p.m. ET and the main event getting underway at 7 p.m. ET.
UFC Betting Odds at BetRivers Sportsbook
Rafael Fiziev -165
Mateusz Gamrot +132
One of the most exciting fighters in the UFC Lightweight Division is Rafael Fiziev. We have seen six straight fights of Fiziev’s result in him earning a bonus, and he won five in a row before losing a majority decision to Justin Gaethje at UFC 286 in London back in March. Fiziev is 12-2 in his professional career with eight knockouts, and he is an excellent striker with both his hands and feet due to his background in Muay Thai and Kickboxing.
Mateusz Gamrot spent eight years in promotions aside from the UFC before joining at the tail end of 2020. Gamrot was 17-0 with a No Contest as a professional fighter and held the KSW Lightweight Championship for over four years before making the move to the UFC. His debut was something of a disappointment even though he won Fight of the Night honors as he had to settle for a split decision draw against Guram Kutateladze. However, Gamrot has since won five of his last six fights with his only loss coming against Beneil Dariush.
The tale of the tape gives Fiziev a bit of an advantage. He has an extra inch of reach with both his arms and his legs, and he has a better pedigree since joining the UFC. While Gamrot is a more experienced fighter, Fiziev has taken on better opponents, so we will back the favorite at a nice price by the UFC betting odds.
Pick: Rafael Fiziev
It is a little surprising to see Marina Rodriguez installed as this much of a favorite on the MMA betting line. Rodriguez was 16-1-2 just 18 months ago, but she has since lost two straight fights and her last victory was a split decision win. Additionally, Rodriguez is 36 years old, and that’s when MMA fighters tend to start to lose it.
However, while Rodriguez hasn’t been impressive recently, Michelle Waterson-Gomez has been downright bad. The ‘Karate Hottie’ has lost five of her last six fights, and her one victory since March 2019 was a controversial split decision win against Angela Hill. You can make the case that she has been a bit unlucky since three of her last six bouts were split decisions, but she is 37 and is in the twilight of her career. Waterson-Gomez gets a little too much love because of her looks (sort of like Paige VanZant), so lay the chalk and back Rodriguez.
Pick: Marina Rodriguez
Bryce Mitchell -210
Dan Ige +165
We have seen Bryce Mitchell soar up the featherweight rankings after a 15-0 start to his career. Mitchell joined the UFC five years ago, and he won his first five bouts (four by unanimous decision) before being submitted by Ilia Topuria at UFC 282. The favorite by the UFC betting odds here is a submission specialist with nine wins decided by submission, but he has yet to knock out an opponent.
A seasoned, well-rounded fighter like Dan Ige should be able to take advantage of Mitchell’s overreliance. While Ige has been hit or miss over the past three years, he has spent a lot of time in the UFC and is much more flexible with his gameplan than his opponent.
Play: Dan Ige