Jake Matthews vs Akbarh Arreola Preview and Analysis – UFC 193

Jake MatthewsThe main event of Fox Sports 1’s preliminary card is a lightweight matchup between highly touted prospect Jake “The Celtic Kid” Matthews and Akbarh “El Caballero” Arreola. Matthews recently suffered the first loss of his professional career when he left his neck out while attempting a takedown and got caught in a guillotine. Arreola, on the other hand, is likely fighting for his job, as he has lost two out of his three UFC fights and his only victory was against a fighter that is now retired.   Jake Matthews (8-1 MMA, 2-1 UFC, -950 favorite) The 21 year old Matthews is one of the most talked about prospects in the lightweight division. He is a large, physical imposing lightweight that also has serious speed and power in his arsenal. Matthews got his UFC career off to a memorable start by completely dominating Dashon Johnson in June of 2014. He followed that up by beating up veteran Vagner Rocha for a round before choking him unconscious in the second round. Unfortunately, Matthews got a bit too aggressive in his latest outing against fellow prospect James Vick. He was winning the fight but left his neck in while going for a double-leg takedown, which Vick capitalized on by securing a tight guillotine choke that ended the fight. The young Australian will look to bounce back in front of a friendly crowd with a dominant performance over Akbarh Arreola on Saturday night. Matthews has a rare combination of size, speed, athleticism, power, and skills. Further, he is getting better every time he steps into the cage, which is what you would expect from a 21 year old fighter. On the feet Matthews has a solid jab, straight right, left hook, and overhand right, which is likely his best punch. The Australian’s technique is not perfect but he makes up for it with sheer power and aggressiveness. Much of Matthews’ best work is done on the ground. He has a solid arsenal of authoritative takedowns, including double-legs, trips, and slams. Once he achieves top position he immediately looks to rain down heavy ground and pound, which leaves openings for him to pass or secure a submission. Matthews is not the type of fighter that lays and prays on his opponent; he goes for the finish at all times. He has a nice arsenal of chokes that he can latch on very quickly. Additionally, having to carry his weight for an extended period of time drains his opponent’s cardio considerably. That is not an issue for Matthews, however, as he has strong conditioning and can push a strong pace for as long as the fight lasts.   Akbarh Arreola (23-9-1 MMA, 1-2 UFC, +750 underdog) Arreola is not a very highly regarded lightweight, though he does have some skills in certain areas. He comes into this contest as the loser of two out of his last three, and his only UFC win was against a 38 year old fighter that clearly did not have what it takes to fight anymore. Arreola is coming off a complete drubbing at the hands of Francisco Trinaldo, who took him down whenever he wanted to and controlled him from there. Having to carry Trinaldo’s weight for multiple rounds zapped Arreola’s cardio and he did not have much left by the third round. This is likely a must-win fight for him if he wants to keep his job. Fighting out of a southpaw stance, Arreola has a nice arsenal of rear-leg kicks that can do some considerable damage to orthodox fighters. His kicks are by far his best weapons on the feet, as his punches are wild and quite sloppy. Further, he is quite hittable, especially when facing an orthodox fighter with a good right hand. Additionally, speed and explosiveness are not exactly hallmarks of Arreola’s game, though he is quite durable. While Arreola’s takedown defense is quite horrible, he is pretty slick off his back. He is really aggressive from the bottom and will routinely go for armbars, triangles, and leg-locks. I am sure Matthews knows this and will be ready for it, but there is always a chance Arreola could surprise him. Further, Arreola is not very good at creating space and getting back to his feet, which is why he may be so aggressive in hunting for submissions.   Thoughts I see this fight as being a one-sided beatdown, which is indicated by the current betting odds. Arreola’s porous defensive wrestling will be exploited here and Matthews should have his way with him on the mat. Arreola is pretty slick on the mat, but I am sure Matthews is aware of that and will fight accordingly. I see Matthews gaining top position, raining down heavy ground and pound that allows him to pass to a dominant position, and sneak in a choke. A ground and pound stoppage is also a possibility, but I think a submission is more likely.   Prediction Jake Matthews defeats Akbarh Arreola by submission (round 2)

Written by Mike James

Leave a Reply

MMAOddsBreaker Staff Picks – UFC 193

Diving into the Main Card for UFC 193