(Image via UFC.com)
Just days removed from the conclusion of the ‘TUF Nations: Australia vs Canada’ series on FX, news has surfaced regarding 2 upcoming matchups for Team Australia’s Jake Matthews.
Following his time in the TUF house, which saw him ousted from the competition in the opening round by eventual finalist Oliver Aubin-Mercier, the 19 year-old Melbourne based welterweight was also unfortunately overlooked for a spot on the April 16 finale card, which was announced last week.
However, it would seem Matthews (6-0) has hit the ground running. First up he’ll face Tasmania’s Stuart Dare (4-2) at Kings of Kombat 12 on April 26, then top Kiwi lightweight Daniel Hooker (11-4) at the Moment of Truth event on June 7.
Matthews hasn’t fought locally since submitting Dean Purdon at AFC 6 back in August of 2013. With that victory, Matthews had earned himself a shot at the promotion’s welterweight title opposite Corey Nelson at AFC 7. That fight never eventuated however, with ‘The Celtic Kid’ impressing on UFC officials at the TUF trials and subsequently scoring himself a spot in the series.
The Shamrock promoted Kings of Kombat 12 will take place on April 26 at the Dandenong Stadium in Melbourne. Stuart Dare, who fights out of the Hybrid Training Centre in Tasmania along side Priscus Fogagnolo, will take a 4-2 MMA record into the stoush. A national Judo, Jui Jitsu, Greco and Freestyle Wrestling medalist, Dare will be making the drop to welterweight after previously fighting at middleweight, where he recently lost to arguably the local kingpin of the division in Steve Kennedy. Among others, Dare holds notable victories over Leigh Allwood and Glen Austin.
A Melbourne venue has yet to be announced for the June 7 Moment of Truth show, where Matthews is set to face AFC lightweight champion Dan Hooker of the Strikeforce Gym in Auckland. The two fighters will meet at an agreed catch-weight of 74 kg. Hooker is currently enjoying a 5 fight win streak with his last win coming against local standout Nick Patterson at AFC 6.