UFC Sydney Results: Jake Matthews Takes Close One from Velickovic

UFC Sydney Jake Matthews
Credit: Dave Mandel/Sherdog.com

After a decent layoff, Jake Matthews stopped his two-fight skid at UFC Sydney with a close split decision over Bojan Velickovic.

Jake Matthews garnered plenty of hype early in his UFC career, making his promotional debut at just 19-years-old. The Australian met those expectations, going 4-1 in his first five fights, with all four wins coming via stoppage. The hype train was halted by lightweight title contender Kevin Lee, who overpowered Matthews in one round. Matthews then dropped a disappointing bout to Andrew Holbrook, bringing his Octagon record to 4-3.

Bojan Velickovic has struggled to find consistency in any way, shape, or form in the UFC, with a 2-2-1 record. The Serbian has not had the same result consecutively thus far and is coming off a loss against top prospect Darren Till. Will the trend continue at UFC Sydney?

Jake Matthews shot for a takedown immediately and worked on a single-leg against the cage. Bojan Velickovic kept balance while landing some shots to the side of Matthews’ head. After nearly two minutes went by, Matthews finally spun Velickovic and got him to the ground. That was short-lived though as Velickovic stood up immediately.

Matthews stayed on him like fellow countryman Alex Volkanovski did earlier in the night. Matthews continued to desperately work for the takedown as Velickovic defended. With over a minute left, Matthews scored another takedown, this time keeping Velickovic on the mat.

Velickovic worked his way up with the use of a well-placed upkick but could not do much with Matthews hanging on him for the final 15 seconds.

With stern advice from his corner, Matthews elected to strike to start round two. He landed a right straight but ate a flying knee that stunned him. Matthews shot a reactive takedown and got it, but Velickovic turned it into a mounted guillotine attempt that was very tight before Matthews popped free.

Matthews spun, but Velickovic took his back and Matthews struggled to break free. Bear in mind this is Matthews’ welterweight debut after a career at 155-pounds. Matthews spun free and attempted a takedown that the fence stopped. Matthews landed a right but seemed to start tiring by the end of round two. Another right hand landed for the Aussie, then the left as the round came to a close.

Jake Matthews started the third round with a right hand then a nice double leg takedown into guard. Velickovic rolled out of bottom position and began to work for his own takedown. Velickovic dragged him down and took his back again. The fighters were positioned right in front of Matthews’ father, who pleaded with him to stand up.

After about a minute, Matthews bucked him off and took top position. Matthews began working ground and pound, while Velickovic attempted a kimura. The move backfired as Matthews took his back. The two swapped positions twice prior to the final bell.

It was a close back and forth bout, but Jake Matthews got back in the win column at UFC Sydney.

Jake Matthews def. Bojan Velickovic by Split Decision (29-28 x2, 28-29)