SYDNEY – It wasn’t very smooth sailing for Jake Matthews on Saturday night in front of his home fans. But a win is a win is a win.
Matthews (11-3 MMA, 5-3 UFC) took a split decision from Bojan Velickovic (15-6-1 MMA, 2-3-1 UFC) in their welterweight bout on the UFC Fight Night 121 main card. It was Matthews’ return to 170 pounds for the first time since before he was in the UFC.
UFC Fight Night 121 took place at Qudos Bank Arena in Sydney. It aired on FS1 following early prelims on UFC Fight Pass.
“It’s obviously good to get the win,” Matthews told MMAjunkie after the fight. “I was very nervous before this fight after the last two losses. I knew I had to get the win, but the nerves had shut me down a bit. It wasn’t the best fight. I pretty much flipped the game plan around.”
Matthews came into the fight with back-to-back losses as a lightweight. The victory was his first since a “Fight of the Night” submission of Johnny Case in March 2016.
Getting back in the win column was crucial for Australia’s Matthews, so much so that he said he had to control the emotion to make sure he focused on the fight.
“I was just harboring a lot of emotion,” Matthews said. “I couldn’t even look at the crowd walking out because I would start crying. To be fighting in Australia, back in the octagon after 12 months out, I could hear all my friends and family – it was good.”
Ten of the 14 media members tracked by MMADecisions.com scored the fight for Velickovic, though. Only three scored it for Matthews, and one scored it a draw.
But Matthews believes he’ll start to feel more comfortable in his new weight class and thinks welterweight is where he belongs after being at lightweight his first seven fights in the UFC.
“I’ve still got a good 12 months before I probably get up to a proper welterweight size,” Matthews said. “I went 7-0 as a welterweight (before I came to the UFC), and I was walking around probably at 165 pounds back then – weighing in in pants and with phones in my pocket just to seem bigger.
“Obviously, welterweight in the UFC is a little different. I was just testing the waters (Saturday), but I’m just happy to get a win. I got a little bit sick after the last one cutting that much weight, so I felt a lot better this time.”
For more from Matthews, check out the video above.view original article >>