Tonight’s UFC Vegas 82 co-headliner featured a welterweight contest between Jake Matthews and Michael Morales.
The UFC make the Apex Centre in Las Vegas their home once more for a thrilling fourteen-bout fight card. Topping the bill is a middleweight matchup between Arnold Allen and Paul Craig, with Craig becoming the first Scottish mixed martial artist to headline a UFC event.
Jake Matthews entered tonight’s clash holding a professional record of (19-6 MMA). The Australian is no stranger to the UFC’s bright lights, having competed under the promotion’s banner since 2014. Matthew’s time as a UFC fighter has been successful on paper, winning eleven of his fights, while losing six, and sharing the cage with some legends such as Diego Sanchez. In his most recent outing, the 29-year-old bounced back into the win column with a second-round submission of Darrius Flowers at UFC 291. Before that, he dropped a unanimous decision loss to Matthew Semelsberger.
Meanwhile, his opponent, Michael Morales comes into the fight with a squeaky clean professional record of (15-0 MMA). Fifteen men have tried, and fifteen men have failed to hand the Ecuadorian his his defeat. After a successful appearance on Dana White’s Contender Series which saw Morales defeat Nikolay Veretennikov on the judges’ scorecards. Since then, Morales has defeated Trevin Giles, Adam Fugitt, and Max Griffin, with those of those being stoppages.
In round one quality striking was on display from both men. As they found their range and rhythm, Morales and Matthews traded quick shots as Matthews looked to counter the impressive jab of Morales.
It didn’t take long for Morales to unleash a barrage of punches in round 2. Matthews avoided big damage and stayed calm. Matthews landed a good counter left hook midway through the round as the fighters engaged in a kickboxing battle. Matthews landed another left hook before Morales returned with a right hand. There was a flurry from Morales at the end of the round.
Round 3 started with a low-blow from Matthews. After some exchanges on the feet, Morales then hit Matthews with a low shot of his own. The action slowed down and became tentative. Morales stepped in with an uppercut and Matthews looked to counter. Both fighters looked strong defensively too in a close fight. Eventually, Michael Morales was given the unanimous decision victory.