UFC 243 Prelims: Jake Matthews Decisions Rostem Akman in Native Australia

By Brian Knapp Oct 5, 2019
The ordering process for Ultimate Fighting Championship pay-per-views has changed: UFC 243 is only available on ESPN+ in the U.S.

Those who anticipated a sprint Jake Matthews and Rostem Akman were instead treated to more of a leisurely stroll from the Ultimate Fighting Championship welterweights.

Matthews outstruck the Hard Knocks 365 representative across three rounds, as he laid claim to a unanimous decision in the featured UFC 243 prelim on Saturday at Marvel Stadium in Melbourne, Australia. All three judges cageside just struck 30-27 scorecards for Matthews (15-4, 8-4 UFC), who recorded his fourth win in five appearances.

Neither man offered much in terms of meaningful offense, especially Akman (6-2, 0-2 UFC). Matthews turned up the heat in the latter half of the fight and sped past the Swede with occasional jabs to the head and body, overhand rights and an active kicking game. Akman never shifted gears and showed no sense of urgency, even as the match slipped away from him.

Potter Upsets Debuting Pitolo

A stout chin, a series of clubbing left hooks and superior grappling skills carried former Hex Fight Series champion Callan Potter to a unanimous decision over Maki Pitolo in a three-round welterweight encounter. Potter (18-8, 1-1 UFC) swept the scorecards with matching 29-28 marks from the judges.

Pitolo (11-5, 0-1 UFC) zipped out to a fast start but could not sustain his output. The Dana White’s Contender Series graduate connected with crisp punching combinations and at one point snuck behind Potter and threatened with a rear-naked choke. Momentum shifted in the middle stanza, where Potter engaged the Hawaiian at close range, made it more of a brawl and methodically drained his gas tank. He executed a lateral drop in the third round, advanced to half guard and applied his ground-and-pound before climbing to full mount and punctuating his performance.

Potter, 38, has rattled off 10 victories over his past 12 outings.

Punishing Riddell Outslugs Mullarkey

City Kickboxing representative Brad Riddell extended his run of consecutive victories to four with a unanimous decision over Jamie Mullarkey in a three-round lightweight slugfest. All three judges sided with Riddell (6-1, 1-0 UFC): 29-27, 30-26 and 30-26.

Mullarkey (8-3, 0-1 UFC) had his moments — he cut the Kiwi with a left hook in the first round and had him reeling with another in the third — but lacked the firepower necessary to turn the tide in his favor permanently. Riddell hit the accelerator across the final five minutes, as he battered the Aussie with clean combinations and twice sent his mouthpiece flying. He put the capstone on a memorable Octagon debut with the two men facing one another in a kneeling position in the waning seconds, sending a sweeping right hook crashing into his jaw.

The 25-year-old Mullarkey has lost three fights in a row.

Anderson Triangle Dismisses Fairn Dos Santos

Former Invicta Fighting Championships titleholder Megan Anderson submitted Zarah Fairn dos Santos with a triangle choke in the first round of their women’s featherweight clash. Anderson (10-4, 2-2 UFC) drew the curtain 3:57 into Round 1, netting her first submission victory in nearly five years.

Fairn dos Santos (6-3, 0-1 UFC) charged the Aussie with punches at the start, wandered into the clinch and surrendered a takedown. Anderson advanced to mount without much resistance before unleashing punches and elbows, one of which appeared to cut the British Association of Mixed Martial Arts veteran. Fairn dos Santos reversed position but fell into the triangle, and though she struggled briefly to free herself, she had no choice but to raise the white flag.

The loss snapped Fairn dos Santos’ three-fight winning streak.

Relentless Kim Buries Kassem

Impact Gym export Ji Yeon Kim put away Nadia Kassem with punches in the second round of their women’s flyweight affair. Kassem (5-2, 1-2 UFC) succumbed to blows 4:59 into Round 2, as she suffered her second consecutive defeat.

Kim (9-2-2, 3-2 UFC) overwhelmed the 23-year-old Aussie with accurate punches and a merciless pace. She dropped Kassem inside the first 10 seconds with a counter left hand, weathered a kick-heavy attack from her counterpart and waited for damage to accumulate. Late in the second round, Kim unleashed a stream of punches that had the Australian Top Team standout ducking for cover. Two right hooks to the body doubled over Kassem and forced referee Jim Perdios to intervene.

Kim has posted three victories across her past four appearances.

Taha Choke Submits Silva

Rizin Fighting Federation veteran Khalid Taha submitted promotional newcomer Bruno Silva with an arm-triangle choke in the third round of their bantamweight pairing. Silva (10-4-2, 0-1 UFC) bowed out 3:00 into Round 3, his modest two-fight winning streak at an end.

Taha (14-2, 2-1 UFC) floored the Fight Ready rep with a left hook and withstood two groin strikes in the first round, then spent a majority of the middle stanza on his back after conceding a takedown. Silva’s success proved fleeting. Taha sprawled out of an attempted takedown in the third round and assaulted the Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt with elbows and top-ride punches before smoothly transitioning to the arm-triangle. He cleared Santos’ legs, tightened his squeeze on the choke and prompted the tapout.

The 27-year-old Taha has won three of his last four fights. Advertisement


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