The Ultimate Fighting Championship returns to us tonight, December 17, 2022, for the final promotional event of the year, UFC Vegas 66.
Headlining the event is a middleweight matchup between no. 3 ranked former title challenger Jared Cannonier (15-6) and no. 7 ranked Sean Strickland (25-4), and it is to be co-headlined by a lightweight bout showcasing no. 9 ranked Arman Tsarukyan (18-3) and no. 12 ranked Damir Ismagulov (25-1).
Our preliminary co-main event of the evening came in the welterweight division between Jake Matthews (18-5) and Matthew Semelsberger (10-4).
Matthews came back after a 15-month layoff earlier this year in June, where he put on an incredible performance to secure a second round KO victory, making himself 7-2 since moving up to 170-lbs, while Semelsberger had gone 4-2 thus far into his UFC tenure, picking up two of those victories via KO in just 15, and 16 seconds respectively.
Continue reading to see how this welterweight contest went down:
Official Result: Matt Semelsberger def. Jake Matthews via unanimous decision (30-27, 29-28, 29-28)
Matthews eats a thunderous right hand from Semelsberger midway through the opening round that floors him; it’s almost surprising he was able to stay in the fight, that was a nasty overhand. Semelsberger absolutely unloads on Matthews on the mat, as well as when Matthews gets back to his feet.
Semelsberger then out-muscles Matthews to secure a takedown, where he remains in the Aussie’s guard for the remainder of the round.
Matthews has a much better round two, as he finds his timing and his range. He begins to pick Semelsberger apart, landing that check left hook nearly every time Semelsberger comes in to strike.
However, Semelsberger times that vicious right hand again and drops Matthews with 30 seconds left in the round, though Matthews is right back to his feet.
Semelsberger knocks Matthews down once more at the very start of the third and final round, though not long after Matthews locks up a guillotine choke and secures the sweep, nearly taking mount before standing back up.
Matthews out-strikes Semelsberger in the second and third rounds, and he secures a beautiful foot sweep takedown toward the end of the third, ending the fight on top.
Following the greatest performance of his career, Jake Matthews had a tough go tonight.
Matthew Semelsberger secures the fifth, sixth, and seventh knockdowns of his UFC career tonight, this being his seventh fight inside the promotion. On the contrary, Jake Matthews had only been knocked down a single time through his first 16 promotional bouts.
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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.