Vladimir Matyushenko (left) wants to test Jason Brilz’s stand-up
at UFC 129. | Photo: Dave Mandel
Matyushenko likes his chances on the feet against UFC
129 opponent Jason Brilz.
“The Janitor” also likes his chances of forcing a standup fight
when they meet April 30 at the Rogers Centre in Toronto.
“He’s a good ground-and-pounder, but I can defend it very well and
keep him on the feet and make it a striking match that will be
awesome,” Matyushenko said recently on the Sherdog
Radio Network’s “Beatdown” show. “I’ve been training my
striking skills for a while now and I couldn’t show it. I think the
fans are expecting me to do it and all my friends [are too]. I kind
of want to show it to myself that I can do it. I do it in sparring
and training all the time, but I wish I can show it on the stage in
The stage will be a big one in Toronto with the UFC reportedly
selling 55,000 tickets for the event. If an enormous audience isn’t
enough to get inside a fighter’s head, Matyushenko is expecting
Brilz’s layoff to affect him.
“Not fighting for a year, it kind of puts you in a situation where
you start getting nervous and stuff like that. It’s the mental
preparation that’s a big deal,” Matyushenko said. “I think he’s
going to be nervous.”
Brilz hasn’t fought since May 2010. However, that last performance
was an impressive one against Antonio
Rogerio Nogueira at UFC
114. Brilz dropped a controversial split decision but put
himself on the map in the light heavyweight division.
Matyushenko had planned on fighting him last November, but a back
injury removed Brilz from the bout.
“I was ready for him back then. I’ve almost been training for him
for half a year now,” Matyushenko said. “I think it’s a good
matchup. He’s a good wrestler. … It’s kind of hard to say I know
him inside and out because first of all, he hasn’t fought in almost
a year. Things can change. He may change his technique in that
time. That’s kind of a hard aspect of preparation for this
Matyushenko fought replacement Alexandre
Ferreira instead in November, stopping him in the first round.
The win was Matyushenko’s fourth in five fights. The lone loss in
that stretch came to Jon Jones, who
won the UFC light heavyweight title in March.
“I got in a bad position and I didn’t get out of there fast
enough,” Matyushenko explained. “Jones just used it well. It looked
like he did his homework and he did exactly the same thing that I
usually do to other fighters.”
Although complimentary of Jones, Matyushenko said he’d “definitely”
like another crack at the titleholder. He’d use a different
strategy in a rematch.
“You have to put the pressure on him and actually get in exchanges
and get in a fight,” Matyushenko said. “You saw if he doesn’t get
hit, he’s got a long reach and he uses that as an advantage. You
have to bring the fight to him. It’s not easy. It’s going to be
hard, but I think that’s the only possibility.”
Listen to the full
interview (beginning at 43:35).