Although Jon Jones’ meteoric rise has been a swift and violent one, Vladimir Matyushenko will be looking to bring the next big thing back down to earth tonight inside the San Diego Sports Arena in Cali. Despite having rattled off three consecutive victories, all of them have come by way of decision. It’s an option “The Janitor” knows he won’t be afforded against the hungry 23-year-old.
“I always look for an early finish. Trust me, every fighter does. I think there’s a fine line between winning or losing in a performance and making fans happy,” Matyushenko told 5thRound.com of the tightrope he constantly walks. “You don’t want to go out, throw a risky move and get knocked out. But at the same time, you want to win by impressive manner.”
Speaking of devastating finishes, Jones owns an impressive 10-1 pro record and has ended eight of his wins before the final horns have sounded. While his resume is nearly as immaculate as his arsenal, Matyushenko knows the youngster hasn’t faced an adversary as decorated as him before.
“I believe I am the best fighter he has fought so far, I think he’s even admitted that,” Vlad said. “But that doesn’t mean anything, it’s just talk. Winning is the only thing that is important and we will find out [tonight].
“This fight is very important, it’s going to bring [the winner] to the next level.”
The 13-year veteran will be entering the Octagon a heavy 4-to-1 underdog, but that’s old hat for the man that’s always donning an ivy cap.
“I like to be the underdog. I’m pretty comfortable being there and I’m ready to prove those who think I don’t deserve to be there wrong,” Matyushenko humbly said.
The light heavyweights will do battle tonight on Versus. Don’t miss the freebie broadcast kicking off live at 9PM ET/6PM PT.