UFC Auckland: Jake Matthews earns entertaining win over Emil Meek
Jake Matthews said he wanted a war, and that's exactly what he got at UFC Auckland, scoring a unanimous decision win over Emil Meek.
Coming off a decision win over Rostem Akman at UFC 243 last year, Matthews said he wanted to put on a show against the veteran Norwegian.
The bout will be a strong contender for fight of the night when it's all said and done at Spark Arena in Auckland.
"Little bit of brawling, a little bit of intelligent fighting and I thought I did that," Matthews saidMORE: When is UFC 248 - Adesanya vs Romero
"He's a dangerous striker but I love a good scrap."
Both men threw with maximum power throughout the 15 minute contest, with each wearing brutal overhands to the head and savage low kicks to the legs.
There were moments of danger for Matthews in the opening round, but he took Meek's back int the second, looking to sink in a rear-naked choke.
Meek escaped and hammered a knee into Matthews' head against the cage, but the Celtic Kid responded with a spinning elbow.
A desperate Meek pushed the pace in the third round, causing Matthews to fight off the back foot, but the Melbournite fought well going backwards.
The bout ended with the crowd on its feet as Meek attempted a flying knee and Matthews tried to take him down.
One fight earlier, Matthews' training partner Cal Potter fell to a devastating first round knockout defeat to China's Song Kenan.
Kenan landed a couple of big lefts on Potter's chin, before dropping him with a right hand down the pipe.
Hometown hero Kai Kara-France got the day started right for the local crew, scoring a unanimous decision win over Tyson Nam.
Kara-France put in a classy and gutsy performance coming back from a loss at UFC 245 last year.
"Ever since I started MMA, this was my dream to fight for the UFC in Spark Arena," Kara-France said.
"I can finally take this off the bucket list. This is the best feeling ever, just to feel the energy off my people. They really made me rise to the occasion. This wasn't for myself, this was for everyone here. This is for the next generation. When I grew up, there was no blueprint to get here.
"I could feel the fans in my heart, soul and spirit. I felt like it was my ancestors pushing me on.
"It's a privilege and an honour to represent New Zealand on the world stage. This means everything to us. This is the takeover in 2020. It will be massive year for us."
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