by Mick Hammond – MMAWeekly.com
(Photo courtesy IFL)
Looking back over the brief, yet meaningful history of the International Fight League, one of the true feel-good stories of the promotion was the resurgence of Vladimir “The Janitor” Matyushenko.
Often in the background of the battle for light-heavyweight attention due to his low-key demeanor, the former Ultimate Fighting Championship veteran stepped into the spotlight in a big way in the IFL, winning all six of his bouts with the promotion en route to claiming its 205-pound championship.
But, as all things must come to the end, with the IFL closing shop this year, Matyushenko was left to look for a new place to call home, and he has found it, agreeing to participate in the upcoming Affliction 2 show, “Day of Reckoning,” on Oct. 11 in Las Vegas in a rematch with Antonio Rogerio Nogueira.
“I’m feeling great,” Vladimir said of joining Affliction. “I’ve finally figured out what I’m doing with my future.
“It’s hard to train when you don’t know what your next fight is. Affliction is a great opportunity to showcase my skills and test myself again.”
As it currently stands, a finalized deal has yet to be signed, but with a verbal agreement between Matyushenko, his management, and Affliction having been worked out; Vladimir is looking forward to a rematch with Nogueira, whom he defeated six years ago.
“He’s a tough guy,” stated Matyushenko.
“I fought him to a unanimous decision (victory), but it was a tough fight, and I’m sure it’s going to be a tough fight this time, but I’m ready. I’m ready for anybody.”
Along with Matyushenko, it appears that fellow former IFL champ Roy Nelson will be appearing on the card as well; following a string of high profile opportunities for former members of the promotion.
Speaking about his time in the IFL, Matyushenko reiterated the same sort of positive comments his fellow former company mates have.
“I can’t say anything bad,” he commented. “It was good in the sense that I had many fights. I had five fights last year and it kind of brought me back into shape.
“Hopefully it’s going to lead me to the next level, so that’s good.”
With a new deal close to being in hand and a future that looks promising, Matyushenko is showing no signs of slowing down any time soon.
“That’s the plan, (to keep fighting),” he said. “There’s more Janitor coming.”