Thomas Gerbasi, UFC - September 19th’s UFC 103 show in Dallas is shaping up to be a family reunion of sorts - mixed martial arts style - as Vitor Belfort and Frank Trigg make their returns to the Octagon. But there’s another UFC vet coming back to the fold on the card at the American Airlines Center, and Vladimir Matyushenko is the type of fighter who could make an immediate impact on the talent-rich light heavyweight division." /> 'The Janitor' Returns at UFC 103 | UFC ® - News
Article

'The Janitor' Returns at UFC 103

Thomas Gerbasi, UFC - September 19th’s UFC 103 show in Dallas is shaping up to be a family reunion of sorts - mixed martial arts style - as Vitor Belfort and Frank Trigg make their returns to the Octagon. But there’s another UFC vet coming back to the fold on the card at the American Airlines Center, and Vladimir Matyushenko is the type of fighter who could make an immediate impact on the talent-rich light heavyweight division.
By Thomas Gerbasi

September 19th’s UFC 103 show in Dallas is shaping up to be a family reunion of sorts - mixed martial arts style - as Vitor Belfort and Frank Trigg make their returns to the Octagon. But there’s another UFC vet coming back to the fold on the card at the American Airlines Center, and Vladimir Matyushenko is the type of fighter who could make an immediate impact on the talent-rich light heavyweight division.

“This is the same as if I would be a football player and got a chance to play in NFL,” said Matyushenko about coming back to the UFC after an absence of nearly six years. During that stretch, “The Janitor” has won nine of ten fights, earning an IFL championship and beating the likes of Jason Lambert, Tim Boetsch, Alex Schoenauer, and Jamal Patterson, with his only loss coming to Antonio Rogerio Nogueira.

Needless to say, the time is right for the 38-year old Belarus native to get back in the UFC mix, and he will be looking to fight his way back to a world title opportunity. In 2001, Matyushenko got a shot at UFC gold when he battled Tito Ortiz at UFC 33. He would lose a five round unanimous decision that night in Las Vegas, becoming the only man among Ortiz’ record five title defenses to go the distance. But just going the distance isn’t enough for Matyushenko - who owns UFC wins over Yuki Kondo, Travis Wiuff, and Pedro Rizzo - and the second time around, he plans on taking the belt.

First things first though, and that means a fight against Mirko Cro Cop protégé Igor Pokrajac, who brings a 21-5 record into the Octagon for his UFC debut. “He’s a tough fighter,” said Matyushenko of his foe, but you can expect that the standout wrestler will be ready for him come September 19th.
Saturday, June 3
10PM/7PM
ETPT
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Media

Recent
Longtime champion Jose Aldo seeks to prove that he still has the skills to stay atop the division, but win-streaking Max Holloway, who captured the interim title in Aldo’s absence, plans to emerge as the division’s new face.
May 28, 2017
In the UFC 212 co-main event, strawweight contenders Claudia Gadelha and Karolina Kowalkiewicz both look to prove they deserve another title shot, after taking valuable lessons from their action-packed bouts against champion Joanna Jedrzejczyk.
May 28, 2017
Listen to a jubilant Alexander Gustafsson after his main event knockout victory over Glover Teixeira in the main event of UFC Fight Night Stockholm.
May 28, 2017
UFC Fight Night event at the Ericsson Globe Arena on May 28, 2017 in Stockholm, Sweden. (Photos by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)
May 28, 2017