Matthews, Vaculik, Grujic & Hooker among winners on UFC Fight Night 43 undercard

Jake Matthews victorious

Nineteen year-old Jake Matthews stole the spotlight on the undercard of UFC Fight Night 43 with a third round submission over Dashon Johnson to end the portion of the event which took place at the Vector Arena in Auckland, New Zealand on Saturday evening.

Hailing from Victoria, Australia, Matthews (pictured) quickly pressed his opponent against the cage as they battled for position. Matthews looked to secure the single-leg but Johnson defended it successfully before dropping to his back to look for a guillotine choke. Matthews remained composed and popped his head out before unloading with big elbows from the top which opened up a cut on Johnson’s forehead. Matthews then passed to side-control where he looked to lock up an armbar that allowed Johnson to escape to all fours. Matthews landed some further big shots from the top as the first-round came to an end.

Johnson started the second round with a big uppercut however Matthews immediately used his size advantage to press the action against the cage. Johnson landed downward elbows to the back of the head with Aussie referee Peter Hickmott immediately punishing the American by deducting a point. Matthews went straight back on the front foot as he again wrestled his opponent against the cage. Matthews kept his opponent pressed there as Johnson defended the takedown attempts only for Matthews to secure one in the final seconds of the round.

Knowing he needed a stoppage in the last round, Johnson started the third round unloading with punches. Matthews secured a headlock standing and utlises that position to roll-back into a reversal that put him into the mount position. There Matthews unloaded with big punches and elbow that forced Johnson to turn his back. The punishment continued as Johnson reverses straight into a waiting triangle choke that gives the Aussie teenager the win. The tap came 3:16 into the third round.

With the win, the youngest current fighter on the UFC roster secures his first victory inside the Octagon to take his record to 8-0. Johnson loses for the first time in his career to go 9-1 (UFC 0-1).

Big wave surfer Richie Vaculik secured his first win inside the UFC with a close decision win over previously undefeated Roldan Sangcha’an. Vaculik secured a massive slam early and was able to dominate on the ground in the opening round. His Filipino opponent did get a reversal midway through the round only for Vaculik to regain the top position. Sangcha’an looked in danger late in the round as Vaculik took the back but the Lakay MMA student was able to survive until the end of the round.

Sangcha’an started to come back into the fight in the second and landed a leg-kick as Vaculik quickly took the fight to the canvas. From inside the guard, Vaculik threw short strikes before the referee stood the fighters up due to inactivity. There Sangcha’an looked to get back in the contest and was able to successfully defend the takedown attempts from Vaculik until the final seconds of the round.

The third round was mainly contested standing as both fighters looked to exchange but stayed cautious of their opponents striking. Sangcha’an landed some short strikes which forced Vaculik to try and take it to the ground once again. As the separated, Vaculik rocked Sangcha’an with a short hook against the cage. Vaculik landed a pair of nice overhand rights as Sangcha’an kept the pressure on with some powerful leg-kicks in the final seconds of the bout.

The three judges awarded Vaculik the bout, 30-27, 29-28 and 29-28. In his second outing as a flyweight, the TP Fight Team member moves his record to 10-2 (UFC 1-1) while the Sangcha’an drops his first career fight to go 4-1. He too will have lots of positives to take out of the fight despite the loss

Vik GrujicIn an all Australian battle, Victorian based fighter Vik Grujic (pictured left) scored his first UFC win when he stopped Western Australian based fighter Chris Indich. The two battled for position on the ground early before Grujic was able to take his opponents back. As Indich worked back to his feet, Grujic unloaded with a left-hook that dropped Indich. Grujic followed up with further shots before the referee Peter Hickmott stopped the contest at a time of 4:55. 

Grujic moves his record to 7-3 (UFC 1-1) and bounces back from a recent loss to Nordine Taleb. Indich 5-2 (UFC 0-2) on the other hand drops his second consecutive fight in the UFC.

Twenty six year-old Brazilian Rodrigo Goiana De Lima started his bout against Neil Magny dominating the ground battle before Magny came into his own in the second round to get a TKO stoppage. De Lima did come very close to submitting his opponent with a triangle choke late as he dominated the ground-game in the opening round. As the second round started De Lima’s conditioning came into question and Magny utilised his reach to tag De Silva with constant jabs before rocking the Brazilian with punches. Magny immediately capitalised and secured the TKO stoppage. The end came 2:32 into the second round. 

The win was Magny’s third straight in the UFC and takes his record to 11-3 (UFC 4-2). A former Jungle Fight welterweight champion De Lima drops to 8-2-1dr (UFC 0-1)

Local favourite Daniel Hooker came into the bout against Ian Entwistle with a lot of pressure on his back as the only locally based New Zealand fighter. Entwistle immediately looked to lock-up a leg-lock submission as he pulled guard. Hooker remained composed and used the top position to rain down with constant elbows. As a cut opened up on Entwistle, Hooker smelt victory and continued his assault that forced the referee Steve Perceval to halt the contest. The win came only 3:34 into the first-round.

The win moves Hooker to 11-4 (UFC 1-0) in what was his sixth straight win and first at featherweight. Entwistle, an English born fighter based Phuket Top Team drops to 8-2 (UFC 0-1).

The event started with a back and forth slug-fest between light-heavyweights Gian Villante and Sean O’Connell. Villante was able to overcome a knockdown in the second-round to come back and edge the split points decision. Two judges awarded the fight 29-28 to Villante while the other judge gave it to O’Connell 29-28.

The win was Villante’s second inside the UFC which takes his professional record to 12-5 (UFC 2-2). O’Connell drops to 15-6 (UFC 0-2).

The event was broadcast on UFC Fight Pass.

Preliminary Card:

  • Jake Matthews def Dashon Johnson via Submission (Triangle Choke), Rd 3 3:16
  • Richie Vaculik def Roldan Sancha’an via Decision (Unanimous – 30-27, 29-28, 29-28)
  • Vik Grujic def Chris Indich via TKO (Punches), Rd 1, 4:55
  • Neil Magny def Rodrigo Goiana De Lima via TKO (Punches), Rd 2, 2:32
  • Daniel Hooker def Ian Entwistle via TKO (Elbows), Rd 1, 3:34
  • Gian Villante def Sean O’Connell via Decision (Split – 29-28, 28-29, 29-28)

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