UFC 221 Recap: Jake Matthews defeats Li Jingliang via Unanimous Decision

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Jake Matthews vs Li Jingliang Recap

UFC 221 is here and on the main card features a welterweight fight betweenness Jake Matthews and Li Jingliang. Matthews has a career record of 12-3, including a win in his last fight over Bojan Velickovic via split decision. Matthews has shown some promise but at the same time shows there room for a lot of improvement. He could have easily lost his last 3 fights.

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On the other side we have Jingliang. Jingliang comes into this fight on a 4 fight win streak. Including wins over Anton Zafir, Bobby Nash, Frank Camacho, and Zak Ottow. Jingliang looks to make it 5 straight and move up to a bigger fight in the welterweight division.

Round 1:

Both fighters start fairly slowly throwing strikes that remain out of range. As Jingliang pressures Matthews, he gets caught by a right hand that stuns him. A couple exchanges later he gets hit again. As Matthews starts moving forward he gets caught with an uppercut and Jingliang once again becomes the aggressor. Matthews is able to counter him with a left hand that knocks him down. He immediately gets top mount and starts ground and pounding his opponent. Jingliang is in trouble and gives his back, Matthews goes for the rear naked choke. Jingliang gets a warning for holding Matthew’s glove as he attempts to defend the submission. Matthew has his back for the rest of the round but is unable to lock in a body triangle or submission.

The MMATakeover scored this round 10-9 Matthews.

 

Round 2:

Jingliang gets caught by an uppercut early in the round. Matthews tries to finish him as he goes for guillotine. Jingliang is in big trouble but gets out of the choke using a very blatant eye poke that the referee missed. Matthew’s eye starts bleeding a lot. Both fighters are back on their feet, Jingliang starts pressuring Matthews but misses almost every shotdue to Matthew’s display of head movement. Both fighters start brawling but nothing lands, they have considerably slowed down. Matthew lands a few counter strikes in the last minute of the round.

The MMATakeover scored this round 10-9 Matthews.

Round 3:

Matthews immediately shoots for a double leg takedown and pins Jingliang to the fence. He hits him with a couple of strikes as Jingliang gets up. The fighters break from the clinch as Matthews keeps getting the better of the striking exchanges. Eventually, Jingliang gets hit by a huge overhand that knocks him down. He immediately recovers as reverses Matthews to his backside who is able to transition into full guard. Matthews gets back up pins Jingliang to the fence, who breaks the clinch. As they stand up Matthews is able to land a last takedown with 15 seconds left, Jingliang gets back up immediately.

The MMATakeover scored this round 10-9 Matthews.

Jake Matthews won the fight via unanimous decision (29-28, 30-26, 30-26)

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