Jake Matthews is just 21 years old, but the Australian already has four Octagon wins to his credit and is rapidly ascending the lightweight ranks.
Recently, Matthews (10-1) scored the biggest win of his career with a third round submission of Johnny Case in his home country. That was added to finishes vs. Akbarh Arreola, Vagner Rocha and Dashon Johnson that have come around a loss to James Vick.
“The Celtic Kid” moved down to 155 pounds after competing as a welterweight, offering to step in on short notice and face Conor McGregor and Rafael dos Anjos went out. Matthews explained his reasoning behind that during a recent interview with Submission Radio.
“I think every fighter should have. It’s an opportunity to fight McGregor – whether people think you’re going to win or not, or whether even you think you’re gonna win or not,” he said. “I probably didn’t think there was a one-percent chance that the UFC would contact us and say, ‘alright, you can fight McGregor,’ but you never know. If they did have, I would have taken that fight 100-percent, and just for what it is, a promotion and everyone would know your name after that. So like I said, didn’t think we’d get the call up, but there’s no harm in trying.”
Matthews is not shy when asked about how he would match up with the current featherweight champion, breaking down his skills and where he would shine vs. “Notorious.”
“I think in the wrestling and on the ground, I think I’d be too much for him,” he said. “I’ve seen his jiu-jitsu against Nate Diaz – guarantee Nate Diaz wouldn’t choke me out like that, handle me on the ground like that. We’ve said it to our friends a lot, McGregor’s a good fighter and he’s an awesome stand-up fighter. I don’t think he’s a complete mixed martial artist, he just beats people before they get in there. He makes them that angry that they just want to stand up and brawl with him, whereas what they should be doing, is trying to take him to the ground, because his ground game isn’t really there.
“That would be the game plan. Whether I could do it or not is a different story, but that’s what we’d do. We’d try to get it to the ground. You don’t want to stand up with him, he’s a monster on the feet. Who knows, maybe a few years down the track I’ll get that match up with him. I gotta get some wins together and that would be awesome.”