There’s nothing like a quick victory to silence the critics, as UFC light heavyweight Vladimir “The Janitor” Matyushenko showed this past weekend.
In just 20 seconds, Matyushenko proved that he’s more than just a grappler when he knocked out Jason Brilz at UFC 129.
“It was kind of proof to not just people, but myself, that I’ve been training a lot and my striking has improved,” Matyushenko told MMAWeekly.com.
“Everyone thinks I’m just a wrestler/ground-and-pounder, but striking is one of the things that I can show in the fights (as well).”
Then again, according to Matyushenko, Brilz didn’t make himself a difficult target.
“He was standing right in front of me,” said Matyushenko. “He didn’t move really, and that was kind of like a mistake on his side.
“When you’re a (stationary) target, you’re asking for it.”
Fighting in MMA since 1997, Matyushenko says the record-breaking crowd of nearly 56,000 at UFC 129 was like nothing he’s ever seen.
“Before my fight, I was trying not to concentrate on that, not to look in the stands or anything, but afterwards I realized how loud it was,” he commented. “It was amazing. I’ve never experienced anything like that before.
“It’s good for the promotion, and not only for me as a fighter, but for MMA itself. It was a great event.”
Having raised his UFC record since his return in 2009 to 4-1, Matyushenko has solidified his place as one of the light heavyweight division’s stalwarts.
“It’s definitely going to help my career with this quick win like that,” he stated. “I’m not done yet; I’m going to keep fighting. I’m just getting started.
For upcoming fights, Matyushenko would like to avenge two losses in the company, but ultimately any opposition in the division is fine by him.
“I would like to (even) the score with ‘Lil Nog’ (Antonio Rogerio Nogeuira) or Tito (Ortiz), but the UFC does a good job of matchmaking so far, and at my weight there are plenty of guys to fight,” he said.
“205 is stacked, and you can pick and choose all you want to, but ultimately if you want to get into a championship fight, you have to be willing to fight anybody. I’m not turning down any fights.”
Having shown he’s not as one-dimensional as people may have labeled him, Matyushenko continues to improve with age and remains a difficult opponent for anyone he faces.
“I want to thank all the fans, and the media for helping MMA for getting so big so fast,” he closed out. “All you guys look out for ‘The Janitor;’ I’m still cleaning up.”
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