Following UFC welterweight talent Jake Matthews’ (18-5) most recent fight earlier this year in June, seeing him victorious via KO in round two, we’ve all been awaiting his next match up to be booked, and we finally have it!
The 28-year-old Aussie will face knockout artist Matthew Semelsberger (10-4) on December 17, 2022, at UFC Fight Night 216, going down live from the UFC Apex in Enterprise, Nevada.
This is a very compelling match up for so many reasons.
Jake Matthews first came to the Ultimate Fighting Championship in 2014 at just 19 years of age with a record of 7-0.
That initial seven-fight win streak would already see him submit (triangle choke) BJJ black belt Callan Potter at 1:42 of round one, a man 10 years his senior.
Then, upon arriving to the UFC, he’d absolutely maul 9-0 Dashon Johnson en route a submission (mounted triangle choke) victory, securing the finish at 3:16 of the third and final round.
Matthews then did the unthinkable by submitting (rear naked choke) multi-time ADCC champion and 3rd-degree BJJ black belt Vagner Rocha at 1:52 of round two in his next bout. Ever since then, expectations for Matthews were set incredibly high.
He’d suffer a setback in his next outing, being submitted (guillotine choke) by James Vick late in round one. But, there’s no shame there. Matthews was still just 20 years old, and Vick went 9-1 through his first ten UFC bouts, only losing to Beneil Dariush.
Matthews rebounded with a pair of back-to-back stoppage victories over the likes of Akbarh Arreloa (TKO), absolutely dominating the Mexican that was again a decade older than him, before submitting (rear naked choke) highly touted prospect Johnny Case at 4:45 of round three.
However, Matthews would be set back by Kevin Lee (TKO) and Andrew Holbrook (SD) in his next two outings before moving up to 170 lbs.
A three-fight win streak would ensue once arriving at 170 lbs, seeing him defeat Bojan Velickovic (SD), a man who actually boasts a TKO win over former Rizin & UFC light-heavyweight champion (never lost either belt in a fight, currently 29-3-1) Jiri Prochazka.
Matthews then defeated Li Jingliang (UD), securing two 10-8 scorecards, before dispatching of former Pancrase middleweight champion Shinsho Anzai (rear naked choke) at 3:44 of round one.
Matthews would lose his next bout to Anthony Rocco Martin, being submitted (anaconda choke) at 1:19 of round three, before going on another three-fight win streak over the likes of Rostem Akman (UD), Emil Weber Meek (UD), and Diego Sanchez (UD).
Matthews would again be stopped in the final stretch of his next outing, this time against Sean Brady, who submitted (arm-triangle choke) him at 3:28 of round three.
It appeared at this point that perhaps Matthews wouldn’t live up to the hype his younger self created; he was getting stopped when stepping up in competition, and his wins weren’t anywhere near as dominant as they once were.
But, following a 15-month absence from the sport, Matthews returned earlier this year in June to violently KO Andre Fialho, who was coming off back-to-back Performance of the Night bonuses where he KO’d both opponents in round one.
Matthews looked absolutely incredible that night, he was as on-point as we’d ever seen him. That’s really saying something when you look at some of his earlier performances.
Then we have Matthew Semelsberger, who though is coming off a defeat to Alex Morono (currently riding four-fight win streak, 8-2 in last 10), nearly knocked him out in the third and final round with a vicious flying knee.
Nonetheless, Semelsberger did have a very impressive 2021, where he went 2-1.
This saw him secure two vicious KO victories, one coming at 16 seconds of round one, and the other coming just 15 seconds into round one, in his first and third fights of the year.
Does Jake Matthews make it two-straight, or does Matthew Semelsberger pick up the biggest win of his career at UFC Fight Night 216?
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I became a fan of combat sports when I was 12 years old. I was scrolling through the channels and landed upon versus, where WEC was televised. Urijah Faber fought Jens Pulver for the second time that night. That’s the first fight I saw, and the fight that got me hooked on the sport. Since then, the sport has grown so rapidly, and my goal is to enlighten everyone on what’s going on in the sport today.