UFC Atlantic City: Dennis Buzukja Scores First UFC Win, Stops Connor Matthews

Dennis Buzukja and Connor Matthews, UFC Atlantic City
Dennis Buzukja and Connor Matthews, UFC Atlantic City ceremonial weigh-in Credit: Jake Noecker/Cageside Press

Two-time Contender Series alum (and one-time Lookin’ for a Fight veteran) Connor Matthews made his long-awaited UFC debut on Saturday, taking on Dennis Buzukja at UFC Atlantic City.

The featherweight fight found Buzukja with his back against the wall, having lost his first two fights in the promotion, to Sean Woodson and Jamall Emmers.

The fight started and Matthews opened up with a body kick. Buzukja landed a nice leg kick as both traded kicks back and forth. Buzukja was winging punches but Matthews was the one landing. Matthews was doing a good job of switching stances giving Buzukja different looks. He did walk into a knee and right hook from Buzukja but he took it well. Matthews was doing well at range with his kicks to the legs and body. Buzukja started to pull away with his hands at least with the bigger shots. With a minute left Buzukja settled in and was picking his spots nicely with the right hook, kicks, and jab.

In round two Matthews was aggressive but good leg kicks from Buzukja were landing. The jab from Buzukja and then a right hook over the top by Buzukja landed. Matthews probably knew he was behind in the fight so he turned up the pressure. Matthews was landing well with the kicks but Buzukja would back him up when he let his hands go. Buzukja had more power in his hands and that became the difference to that point in the fight. Matthews did well with the teep and right-hand. He was able to close the distance and get Buzukja down and jump on his back. Matthews was too sloppy and Buzukja scrambled back up. To close the round Matthews landed a right hook as Buzukja was visibly tired.

In the final round, Dennis Buzukja out of the gate dropped Matthews with left, right on the temple. He swarmed Matthews with ground and pound; Matthews just curled up and the ref stepped in.

Official Result: Dennis Buzukja def. Connor Matthews by TKO (left hook and GNP), Round 3, 0:22