Jake Matthews wasn’t firing on all cylinders tonight against Bojan Velickovic at UFC Fight Night 121, but he still did just enough to earn a split decision victory.
Matthews with a winging punch as he charges into an early takedown attempt, continuing to work for it against the cage as Velickovic defends.
Velickovic landing some short uppercuts to the head as Matthews continues to battle for the takedown. Velickovic doing well to stay upright though and keep landing light shots.
Matthews changes up by going for a single-leg takedown and drags Velickovic to the floor. However, Velickovic is quickly back to his feet, only to be pressed straight back into the cage gagain.
Matthews being made to work hard for these takedown attempts as Velickovic maintains a wide, well-balanced base. Heading towards one minute to go Matthews is able to go for the single and wrap his other leg to bring him down for a second time in the round.
Matthews standing over Velickovic and has to be careful as his opponent tries for a potential leg lock. Velickovic lands a thudding heel to Matthews. Velickovic working his way back to his feet as the round ends.
Matthews with a right hand. Nice knee from Velickovic upstairs. Matthews didn’t like that and dips in for a takedown, but Velickovic scrambles and ends up on top working a guillotine choke.
Matthews able to pop his head free from that, but Velickovic is still on top and then takes his back. Matthews turtled up and Velickovic starts to chip away with a few punches to the head then rolls back looking for a rear-naked choke.
Matthews defends that, but can’t get Velickovic off him. Matthews moving to his knees, but he’s not going anywhere for the moment and Velickovic rolls again as he tries to find the position to work in this rear-naked choke. He might even be thinking about a twister here, but then looks to adjust his position and gives Matthews just enough space to escape and stand up.
A few somewhat labored punches from Matthews. He grazes Velickovic with a straight punch. Towards the end of the round Matthews steps into a solid hook.
Matthews working a few punches to the head and stomach, but nothing too significant. However, he then does land a takedown near the center of the cage which is big for him at this stage in the fight.
Matthews taking his time, but it’s not long before Velickovic is able to stand and then quickly lands a takedown of his own.
Velickovic climbs onto the turtled Matthews back. It’s a good spot for him, but with less than two minutes to go it’s Matthews who is able to shake him off and end up on top.
Working from half-guard, Matthews starts to land some left hands to the head. Velickovic tries for a kimura and then turns onto his knees. Matthews on his back, but struggling to maintain his position.
However, he recovers and does well to keep Velickovic down. However, Velickovic scrambles in the final moments of the fight to briefly get on top, only for Matthews to then do the same in return just as the final horn sounds.
Close fight then and the judges reach a split decision verdict in favor of Matthews, who just manages to scrape by thanks to his wrestling even although it was definitely not his best performance in the Octagon (29-28 x2, 28-29).