Jake Matthews on his way to defeating Akbarh Arreola at UFC 193 in Melbourne. Photo: Darrian TraynorMelbourne UFC lightweight Jake Matthews has never shied away from a fight, and now the 21-year-old is set to proving his mettle during one of the biggest weeks in UFC history.
In July, the UFC holds three fight cards on consecutive nights leading up to the blockbuster UFC 200 card on July 10.
On July 9, Matthews will take on Scottish fighter Stevie Ray at The Ultimate Fighter Finale, headlined by a strawweight title clash between champion Joanna Jedrzejczyk and Claudia Gadelha.
It will be the first time Matthews has had the opportunity to showcase his undeniable talent outside of Australia since his UFC debut in New Zealand in June 2014, and within the glare of UFC 200 it is a massive opportunity to make UFC fans, not to mention officials, stand up and take notice.
Matthews will be looking to build on the momentum he has gathered in his past two fights, a doctor’s stoppage of Akbarh Arreola at UFC 193, and a come-from-behind submission victory to hand Johnny Case his first defeat inside the Octagon at UFC Brisbane in March.
The Epping fighter pocketed a $50,000 bonus, his first post-fight bonus in the UFC, for his victory over Case.
Ray, 26, has an MMA record of 19-5 and is 3-0 in the UFC, with two of his victories coming by vicious knockout.
He has power in both hands and solid take-down defence, but Matthews has to be the favourite heading to the fight given the higher calibre opposition he has faced.
However Matthews can’t afford to take Ray lightly, with the Scot having moved his camp to the famed TriStar gym in Canada, the home of UFC legend Georges St Pierre.
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This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.