When the two separated, Ferreira was in clear pain as he grabbed at his rib cage. Whatever the problem, it was caused by a nasty, legal knee by Gamrot, and gave the emerging contender a third straight victory.
A few days later, he debuted in the rankings, checking in at No. 12.
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As fans, we can be infatuated with and leery of unbeaten fighters, often at the same time; the fact that they’ve never tasted defeat serving as both a reason to project them to great heights, but also question the level of competition they’ve faced.
And once they do lose — because everybody loses at some point (except for Khabib Nurmagomedov) — we often put a great deal of stock in that individual result, overlooking or undervaluing everything that came before it.
For fighters, I would imagine there is something freeing about getting that zero out of the loss column — an unnecessary weight and pressure cleared from your shoulders that both fills you with motivation to get back into the win column, but also allows you to fight without being concerned about protecting your pristine record.
It’s likely doubly challenging when you arrive on the biggest stage in the sport without a loss and carrying a great deal of international acclaim, and while I can’t say for certain, I would wager that Gamrot felt both those things after getting edged out in his debut.
The result was a three-win campaign, with three finishes, and a move into the lightweight rankings, positioning the Polish fighter to enter 2022 as a dark horse contender in the ultra-competitive division.
The challenges are only going to get more difficult from here on out for him, but with the way he dominated over his last three outings, don’t be surprised if he’s in the championship conversation by this time next year, if not sooner.