A last-second change of game plan led Jake Matthews to a unanimous decision victory in front of a home audience at UFC 243 from Melbourne, Australia.
According to the 25-year-old prospect, he heard Rostem Akman being touted as a striker just before walking out for the fight, and he decided to stand and trade with his opponent rather than look for a grappling heavy strategy. The decision paid off as Matthews earned a lopsided unanimous decision with 30-27 scorecards across the boards after three rounds.
As the action got underway, both fighters were more than happy to trade strikes throughout the opening round, with Akman in pursuit and Matthews looking for the counter punches. As aggressive as Akman was trying to cut off the cage, he failed to connect with much accuracy.
In return, Matthews managed to tag him with some solid shots, but not enough to back him off from his game plan.
While Matthews was more effective, neither fighter was doing much damage as they continuously exchanged single strikes rather than putting together successive combinations. Matthews did manage to surge forward with seconds remaining in the round as he unleashed a flurry of punches with Akman backed up against the cage.
By the time the third round got underway, Matthews had to know he was ahead on the scorecards, which put the pressure back on Akman to try and shift the momentum in his favor. Unfortunately, Akman’s output didn’t increase that much, and when he did throw his strikes, nothing landed clean.
As time ticked away, Matthews picked his shots and peppered Akman with enough strikes to secure the victory after 15 minutes.
The Celtic Kid gets it done! #UFC243 pic.twitter.com/O5uHgyEB6U— UFC (@ufc) October 6, 2019
Matthews is now 4-1 in his past five fights as he continues to prove his worth as a welterweight to watch in 2019 and beyond.