This is the second preview from the UFC 129: St. Pierre vs. Shields card that will take place this weekend in Ontario, Canada. MMA veterans Vladimir Matyushenko and Jason Brilz will square off in a battle of wrestling based fighters versed in submissions.
Jason Brilz comes into this fight with a career record of (18-3) with 7(actual) submissions to his credit and 7(actual) wins via TKO/KO. I say actual because he has two wins via strikes that caused his opponents to submit verbally or tap. Brilz was a division 2 wrestler that has adapted his wrestling game to MMA which was evident in his last fight against Antonio Rogerio Nogueira. Brilz showed all of his capabilities in that controversial loss where he matched Nogueira on the ground with submission attempts and reversals. Brilz hasn’t fought since that fight that took place in May of 2010.
Vladimir Matyushenko comes into this fight with a career record of (25-5) with 8 wins via TKO/KO and 7 wins via submission. Matyushenko is a junior college national champion wrestler who has shown some improved striking skills in his last few fights. He’s a tough likes to grind his opponents down using his wrestling prowess. Matyushenko has won four of his last five with his only loss coming against the then rising contender and now current champion Jon Jones.
Betus has the odds of this one razor close with Brilz at (-110) and Matyushenko at (-120).
These fighters are relatively mirror images of one another, both are 35+ years old with their best days behind them. Both fighters are relatively difficult to finish so this fight could definitely go to the judges in what could be an ugly fight. I expect both guys will try to use their striking games to set up their take-downs or use clinch work against the cage for the same effect. The winner of this fight will basically be the fighter that imposes his will in this fight. Matyushenko is the more decorated wrestler but is also 5 years older than Brilz. However, Brilz has been the more inactive of the two during the past year, so that could definitely be a factor in this one.
I will say that if Brilz is able to put Matyushenko on his back he’ll definitely have a good shot at beating “The Janitor”. However, I think Vladimir Matyushenko will have enough in the tank to pull out the decision.