While it seems as though Jake Matthews has been around the Ultimate Fighting Championship forever, “The Celtic Kid” only turned 25 this past August.
Matthews’ tenure belies his age, however, as he earned his eighth promotional triumph with a unanimous decision over Rostem Akman on Saturday night at UFC 243 in Melbourne. While that figure made him the winningest Australian-born fighter in UFC history, it wasn’t a vintage performance. Instead, Matthews did just enough to sweep the scorecards against his opponent.
He acknowledged that he authored something of a conservative fight in winning for the fourth time in his last five Octagon appearances.
“It’s hard for the fans to understand, but if he was a top 10 fighter, I would have swung for the fences,” Matthews said. “This was a very dangerous fight for me. He’s a relative newcomer and I’ve been here for 12 fights. I had to show that maturity and experience. I felt completely in control. Most of my fights are a blur, but this one I was aware of everything going on. I’m very happy with that. I got the win, which is the main thing.”
Matthews also admitted that he elected to stray from the game plan at the last minute.
“The game plan was to take him down. I heard the announcer say he was a good striker, so I decided to strike with him,” Matthews said. “That’s how Aussies do it.”
Now 8-4 in the Octagon, Matthews is still seeking a signature triumph. He already has his sights set on a potential foe for his next UFC appearance, and it’s someone who has already been on his radar.
“I asked for Carlos Condit this fight, but I know he’s fighting Mickey Gall next [at UFC on ESPN 7 on Dec. 7]. So once Carlos is done smashing Mickey, I’d like to have that legend fight.”