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UFC Fight Night 65 fight card: Jake Mathews vs James Vick full fight preview

Jake Mathews and James Vick will scrap this Saturday (May 9, 2015) at UFC Fight Night 65 inside Adelaide Entertainment Center in Adelaide, Australia. In a collision of two talented up-and-comers, what adjustments must be made for either man to claim victory? Find out below!

Mark D. Smith-USA TODAY Sports

Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) lightweights Jake Mathews and James Vick will collide this Saturday (May 9, 2015) at UFC Fight Night 65 inside Adelaide Entertainment Center in Adelaide, Australia.

Mathews made his professional debut at 18 years young, racking up five straight wins before getting picked for an international season of The Ultimate Fighter (TUF). Though he lost to eventual finalist Olivier Aubin-Mercier, Mathews has since torn apart three straight opponents.

Vick also made his way into the Octagon via TUF, taking out three opponents before losing to the season's champion, Michael Chiesa, in the semifinals. Like his opponent, Vick is undefeated since joining UFC and looking to make himself known as a contender.

Let's take a look at the keys to victory for both men:

Jake Mathews
Record: 8-0
Key Wins: Vagner Rocha (UFC Fight Night 55), Dashon Johnson (UFC Fight Night 43)
Key Losses: None
Keys to Victory: Mathews is a very athletic fighter. He's quite well-rounded already, as the 20-year-old "Celtic Kid" is capable of putting a beating on his opponent standing or smashing him on the mat.

Mixing up his attack should be a major part of Mathews' game plan. His opponent is much more of a specialist; he sprawls and brawls his way to victory. In order to disrupt that style, Mathews needs to draw Vick into stand up exchanges and time his takedowns very well.

Luckily, Mathews should be able to pull that off well. Part of his natural talent is his ability to transition between his strikes and takedowns smoothly. While Vick's length normally stymies that type of offense, Mathews athleticism should allow him to get his opponent to the mat.

If Mathews is able to get Vick to the mat, the fight is firmly in his hands. Vick is a very effective counter wrestler -- his takedown defense is strong, and he's shown good Brazilian jiu-jitsu to threaten his opponents during their shots -- but he's not very effective from his bank.

After Mathews secures his first takedown, he needs to make a serious impact. By landing major ground strikes or threatening with tight submissions in the initial ground exchanges, Mathews will make his opponent more hesitant in the stand up, and the advantage could then shift to him in that area.


James Vick
Record: 7-0
Key Wins: Valmir Lazaro (UFC Fight Night 49), Ramsey Nijem (UFC Fight Night 26)
Key Losses: None
Keys to Victory: Vick is a lengthy boxer with some sturdy takedown defense. While he hasn't yet proven to be a serious knockout threat, Vick did finish his debut with a nasty guillotine choke and trains under the highly controversial but talented Lloyd Irvin.

Vick's game plan is pretty established. The 6"3' lightweight may not use his range perfectly, but he stands far enough away from his opponent to may most takedowns easy to read. On occasion, Vick will move forward with combinations, often landing in the clinch and continuing to work from there.

In this fight, Vick needs to be extremely careful to punch from his distance with getting too close. While Vick definitely has good defensive wrestling, he doesn't want any exchanges that pit his strength against the Australian's. Therefore, throwing hooks until he lands in the clinch would be a questionable tactic.

If Vick is careful with his offense and maintains his distance, he should be at an advantage. Ultimately, it's up to Vick, as the specialist in this match up, to keep this fight in his preferred area of combat.

In short, it's all about distance striking for "The Texecutioner."

Bottom Line: Someone's "O" has got to go.

Both of these fighters were a bit too raw to win TUF, but they've since proven their talent inside the Octagon. In addition, both men have faced veterans and fellow up-and-comers, earning the victory regardless. Having already carved out a position in UFC, these fighters are looking to take the next step.

The winner of this bout will likely gain a fair bit of momentum. Taking out an undefeated prospect is always a nice accomplishment, but it's particularly impressive when done by a fellow unbeaten fighter. All in all, the winner of this fight could find himself just a couple fights from the Top 15.

On the other hand, losing in the 155-pound division can be tough. There are simply so many fighters -- be they new prospects or veterans looking to get back to the top -- that it requires the loser to build up another win streak to get any attention.

At UFC Fight Night 65, Jake Mathews and James Vick will go to war. Which fighter will remain undefeated when the dust settles?

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