UFC 122 is Vladimir Matyushenko’s shot at redemption. After a losing effort to a rising star in Jon Jones back in August, “The Janitor” got the call to fight again just weeks after that bout.
He was originally slated to take on Jason Brilz, but an unfortunate injury forced Brilz out of the fight.
In comes Alexandre “Cacareco” Ferreira.
The Brazilian fighter will make his UFC debut against Matyushenko, which, according to history, is a rough spot to be in since the Belarusian has a habit of collecting dominant wins after suffering a loss.
“I hate to lose and this fight, for me, is to recover myself mentally,” Matyushenko told MMAWeekly Radio. “I need this win just to be more confident and to get back my game.”
Don’t get him wrong – despite his last outing against Jones, Matyushenko is still one of the more confident fighters in the game today. After experiencing a loss, it’s natural to go through a thought process of self evaluation and judgement.
Matyushenko was open to talking about what went wrong in his last fight, and how being on his back for such an extended period of time was a mistake.
“I was just taking a little…too long to get out of that position and he took advantage of it,” he said. “You can’t really do that. If you get in that position, you have to get right back. It’s a recipe for success.”
Other fighters have found this success in recent fights. Cain Velasquez, for example, fell victim to a Brock Lesnar takedown in the first round of their heavyweight title fight this past October. Fortunately for the new heavyweight champion, he was able to get right back to his fight and dictate where the fight went from that point on.
Matyushenko saw that particular moment in the fight and compared it to his own bout with Jones.
“Right after (the) takedown, Cain just came up really quick (and) didn’t give him a second to take advantage,” said Matyushenko. “That’s the key, and I didn’t do it. I was kind of waiting around a little bit and Jones took advantage of it.”
When you fall down, the most effective way of dealing with the issue is picking yourself up, dusting yourself off and getting right back on track. This school of thought is the standard for Matyushenko.
Getting the call to fight as soon as he did was something the 13-year MMA veteran welcomed.
“For me, I don’t like to get out of shape, and I like to fight every three, four months,” he said. “It’s a good pace for me. And also, like I said, I hate walking around and (thinking) after my loss. I can’t wait to redeem myself.”
An interesting little side note about this fight is Matyushenko’s opponent won’t be the only one making a debut that night. While Alexandre Ferreira will make his first appearance in the UFC, “The Janitor” will be fighting in Europe for the first time in his career.
Vladimir Matyushenko and Alexandre Ferreira will be part of the evening’s under card on Saturday at UFC 122 in Oberhausen, Germany