The second stint of “Fight Island” kicks off with UFC 253 tonight, Saturday, Sept. 26.
Headlining the pay-per-view event is a battle of undefeated fighters in UFC Middleweight Champion Israel Adesanya and the surging Paulo Costa. The first of two title fights takes place in the co-main event as Dominick Reyes and Jan Blachowicz look to claim the vacant UFC light-heavyweight championship.
On the preliminary card, UFC veteran Diego Sanchez fights Jake Matthews in a welterweight bout.
Sanchez (31-12) is getting ready to close out his long career, but for the time being he’s locked in on tonight’s matchup. The 38-year-old has won three of his past four fights with wins over Craig White, Mickey Gall and Michael Pereira.
Matthews (16-4) has been on a roll since 2017 by winning five of his past six fights over the last three years. In the stretch, he has wins over Bojan Velickovic, Li Jingliang, Shinsho Anzai, Rostem Akman and Emil Weber Meek.
Here’s how their fight went down at UFC 253, including round-by-round scoring. For a full list of results, check them out here.
Sanchez comes out on sprint but Matthews handles it easily and peppers the blitzing Sanchez with a few shots in the opening seconds.
As the opening minute closes Matthews lands a few right hands including an uppercut.
Matthews is controlling the octagon wherever the fight goes. In the process he’s landing punches and Sanchez has a mark underneath his left eye.
Matthews is having great success with his right hand. It is practically landing at will. Sanchez has no answer for it in the opening round.
Sanchez has tried stepping forward and throwing heavy wild shots but nothing is landing.
30 seconds left in the round, Matthews secures a takedown to close out the round.
MyMMANews scores it 10-9 Matthews
As the opening round begins you can see that Sanchez is bleeding from the nose.
Sanchez lands a nice calf kick as the first minute of the round is over. Not a lot of action in this round.
Matthews goes to the right hand a few times in a row and the punches are landing, but Sanchez is reading them a lot better.
Matthews is again controlling the octagon and his shots are landing.
The two trade some heavy shots at one another, with Matthews getting the better of the two.
Matthews is now starting to have success with jab and lands a few nice jabs and follows one of them up with another beautiful right hand.
Sanchez has been successful with the calf kicks this round. He’s landed a few of them and Matthews leg has some damage to it, but this is still Matthew’s round.
MyMMANews scores it 10-9 Matthews
Matthews drops Sanchez with a big right hand in the opening minute and he’s going for the finish.
Sanchez is bleeding badly from his eyebrow and there is a lot of blood pouring out.
Sanchez appears to have gotten his composure back and Matthews can’t get the finish.
Matthews is riding the round out for the most part. Not of a lot action as Matthews is laying on top of Sanchez.
Now Matthews finds an opening and lands some heavy ground and pound, but Sanchez stays with it and grabs ahold of Matthews arm and is trying for a submission.
After trying for the submission, Sanchez loses his position and Matthews starts landing heavy shots in the final 10 seconds of the round. Matthews was pretty dominate and should squeeze out a 10-8 round. Either way he dominated the fight.
MyMMANews scores it 10-8 Matthews
MyMMANews scorecard 30-26 Matthews
Official Result: Jake Matthews defeats Diego Sanchez by unanimous decision (30-26, 30-26, 30-26)