Jake Matthews was made to work for it.
Matthews (9-1, 3-1 UFC) mugged Akbarh Arreola and forced a technical knockout in between the second and third rounds of their lightweight battle at UFC 193 “Rousey vs. Holm” on Saturday at Etihad Stadium in Melbourne, Australia. With Arreola’s right eye horribly swollen, referee Greg Kleynjans called for the stoppage on the advice of the cageside physician.
Arreola (23-10-1, 1-3 UFC) had the young Australian in real danger in the first-round, where he stunned the 21-year-old with a head kick, followed with punches and jumped to the back before flattening out Matthews and threatening with a rear-naked choke. “The Ultimate Fighter Nations” survived the assault and pushed the fight to a second round. There, Matthews executed a takedown and brutalized Arreola with punches and elbows from inside guard for more than four minutes. The punishment proved too much for the veteran to overcome.
Related » UFC 193 Round-by-Round Scoring
Noke Body Kick Wrecks Sobotta
Jackson-Wink MMA rep Kyle Noke cut down Peter Sobotta with a first-round body kick and follow-up punches in an undercard match at 170 pounds. Sobotta (15-5-1, 2-4 UFC) wilted 2:01 into round one, his seven-fight winning streak stopped.
Noke (22-7-1, 6-3 UFC) fought inspired before his countrymen, as he backed up the Germany-based Pole with punches and kicks. The Australian measured his distance and unleashed a scorched-earth front kick to the liver that sent out an echo and had Sobotta crying out in agony. Noke followed up with punches until referee Steve Perceval had seen enough.
The 35-year-old Noke has quietly rattled off three wins
Villante One-Punch KOs Perosh
Former Ring of Combat titleholder Gian Villante knocked out Anthony Perosh with a straight right hand in the first round of their preliminary light heavyweight pairing. Perosh (15-10, 5-7 UFC) met his end 2:56 into round one, as the 43-year-old lost for the fourth time in six outings.
Villante (14-6, 4-3 UFC) hunted the knockout with patience. He chipped away at Perosh with overhand rights and uppercuts, wobbling the Australian grappler more than once. Villante’s final right hand sliced through the Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt’s porous defenses, connected on the jaw and sent Perosh crashing to the canvas face first. No follow-up blows were required.
Martinez Grinds Past Vaculik
Alliance MMA’s Danny Martinez posted his first victory in four Octagon appearances, as he grinded his way to a unanimous decision over Richie Vaculik in a three-round undercard tilt at 125 pounds. All three judges struck 30-27 scorecards for Martinez (18-7, 1-3 UFC).
Vaculik (10-4, 1-3 UFC) seemed guarded and unsure of himself, on the feet and on the ground. Martinez was the aggressor from the start, as he leaned on winging power punches, takedowns and a suffocating top game. Vaculik, an “Ultimate Fighter: The Smashes” graduate who has lost three of his last four fights, wound up on his back on all three rounds and slowly wore down in the face of merciless pressure from “The Gremlin.”
Olympian Kelly Downs Montgomery
Four-time Olympic judoka Daniel Kelly bounced back from his first career defeat with a unanimous verdict against Steve Montgomery in a preliminary middleweight affair. Kelly (10-1, 3-1 UFC) swept the scorecards with matching 29-28 marks from the judges.
A replacement for the injured Ricardo Abreu, Montgomery (8-4, 0-2 UFC) had issues maintaining a safe distance. The American Top Team export was effective when upright, with multi-punch combinations and a series of sneaky knees to the body. However, Kelly controlled vast stretches of the fight with clubbing overhand lefts, clinch takedowns and ground-and-pound. With the outcome still in doubt, the visibly fatigued 38-year-old struck for a trip takedown in the third round, achieved full mount and threatened Montgomery with multiple submissions, from a rear-naked choke and an armbar to an arm-triangle choke. None were successful, but the decision was his.
Walsh Halts Two-Fight Skid
Repeated leg kicks and clear superiority in the standup carried “The Ultimate Fighter Nations” semifinalist Richard Walsh to a unanimous decision over Steve Kennedy in a three-round welterweight duel. All three cageside judges scored it for Walsh (9-3, 2-2 UFC): 30-27, 30-27 and 29-28.
Kennedy (22-8, 0-2 UFC) enjoyed some success on the ground -- he climbed to the back and advanced to the mount in the first round -- but not enough to outweigh the beating he absorbed on the feet. Walsh wiped out his base with kicks to his lead leg, standing and on the ground, and made the Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt pay for retreating to his back late in the match, often tagging him with standing-to-ground punches.
With the win, Walsh rebounded from back-to-back losses to Alan Jouban and Kiichi Kunimoto.
Moontasri Sinks Newcomer Zafir
Black House rep James Moontasri took out Anton Zafir with a spinning back kick to the body, a spinning backfist to the head and follow-up punches in an undercard scrap at 170 pounds. A replacement for the injured Brendan O'Reilly, Zafir (7-2, 0-1 UFC) succumbed to blows 4:36 into round one.
Moontasri (9-3, 2-2 UFC) had to wade through some adversity. Zafir executed a takedown and piled up some points in the clinch, but his efforts came at a price. Once the two welterweights separated, it became clear that the newcomer had run his gas tank dry. Moontasri delivered a wicked spinning back kick to the ribs, followed it with a spinning back fist upstairs and then finished it with punches on the ground.
The loss snapped Zafir’s five-fight winning streak.
Nguyen Choke Submits Benoit
Ben Nguyen submitted Team Takedown’s Ryan Benoit with a first-round rear-naked choke in a preliminary flyweight clash. Nguyen (14-5, 2-0 UFC) brought it to a close 2:35 into round one, as he recorded his eighth consecutive victory with a thoroughly dominating performance.
Benoit (8-4, 1-2 UFC) was never afforded the opportunity to get in gear. Nguyen staggered him with punches, drove him to the canvas with a knee to the gut and climbed to full mount, all inside the first 30 seconds. The 27-year-old Australia-based South Dakotan advanced to the back, flattened out Benoit and cinched the choke after an extended struggle.