Vladimir Matyushenko | “The Janitor”
Ht: 6’0 – Wt: 205 – Age: 41
Born: Retchisa, Belarus
Fights out of: El Segundo, CA, USA
Overall Record: 26-6
UFC Record: 7-4
Vladimir Matyushenko is one of the most respected veterans in all of mixed martial arts. Matyushenko, hailing from Belarus, possessed a solid wrestling background before making his way into MMA in 1997. Matyushenko went 9-1 on the independent circuit, defeating the likes of Anthony Macias, John Marsh, and Tom Sauer, while splitting a pair of bouts with Vernon White to earn a UFC contract in 2001. Matyushenko defeated Japanese stalwart Yuki Kondo via decision at UFC 32, immediately positioning himself for a title shot against reigning UFC light heavyweight champion Tito Ortiz. Matyushenko was unable to unseat the champion as he struggled to stay off his back or mount any type of offense, losing via decision. Matyushenko would stunningly compete just two weeks later, winning a close decision over Antonio Rogerio Nogueira in Japan. Vladimir returned back to the UFC where he racked up consecutive wins over veterans Travis Wiuff and Pedro Rizzo. Matyushenko moved on to face rising contender Andrei Arlovski at UFC 44, but lost early in the 1st round via knockout. Matyushenko would leave the UFC following the loss. Matyushenko won two fights before finding a new home in the IFL in 2007. Matyushenko went 6-0 in the IFL, winning their light heavyweight championship, and scoring notable wins over Tim Boetsch, Alex Schoenauer, and Jamal Patterson. Matyushenko was once again considered a prized free agent following the IFL’s demise, eventually signing with Affliction where he once again faced Antonio Rogerio Nogueira in a rematch from their 2002 bout. Nogueira would get his revenge as he finished Matyushenko via 2nd round knockout after nearly getting finished himself earlier in the round. Matyushenko moved on to defeat UFC veteran Jason Lambert on the independent circuit before finally making his return to the UFC after nearly 6 years away. Matyushenko picked up decision wins over Igor Pokrajac and Eliot Marshall before stepping up in competition to face rising prospect Jon Jones. Matyushenko was quickly finished by his younger foe, losing via 1st round TKO. Vladimir bounced back by achieving his own 1st round finishes over Alexandre Ferreira and Jason Brilz. Matyushenko was working his way back up the rankings as he faced off against another young rising prospect, Alexander Gustafsson, at UFC 141. Matyushenko did not fare well as he was quickly finished via TKO.
Matyushenko fought twice in 2011, going 1-1 overall.
Matyushenko began the year off by facing Jason Brilz at UFC 129. Matyushenko made quick work of Brilz by connecting on a combination that sent Brilz reeling to the floor just twenty seconds into the fight for the knockout victory.
Matyushenko was next set to face rising prospect Alexander Gustafsson at UFC 133, but Matyushenko was forced off the card due to injury.
Matyushenko would eventually square off against Gustafsson at UFC 141. Matyushenko tried to close the distance in order to keep the rangy Gustafsson from dictating the pace, but Gustafsson met him with a short left hand that dropped him to the floor. Gustafsson fired down a few more punches forcing the referee stoppage.
Vladimir Matyushenko is getting up there in years (40 y.o.) as he continues to play the role of gatekeeper in the UFC light heavyweight division. Matyushenko has held his own against mid-level competition, but has struggled mightily against rising stars Jon Jones and Alexander Gustafsson. Matyushenko can no longer match the physical skills of his younger opponents, but he has proven to be a savvy veteran who is as tough as they come. Matyushenko’s roster status may be on shaky ground entering 2012. There are not many fighters competing in the UFC north of 40 years old, so Matyushenko will have to avoid suffering any further knockout losses. Matyushenko still possesses solid knockout power that will likely make him a threat until the day he retires.
Vladimir Matyushenko Fight Record
Overall Record: 26-6
2008-2011 Record: 6-3
2011 Record: 1-1
Loss | Alexander Gustafsson | Tko | Rd 1 | UFC | 12/30/2011
Win | Jason Brilz | KO | Rd 1 | UFC | 04/30/2011
2010 Record: 2-1
Win | Alexandre Ferreira | Tko | Rd 1 | UFC | 11/13/2010
Loss | Jon Jones | Tko | Rd 1 | UFC | 08/01/2010
Win | Eliot Marshall | Dec | Rd 3 | UFC | 03/21/2010
2009 Record: 2-1
Win | Igor Pokrajac | Dec | Rd 3 | UFC | 09/19/2009
Win | Jason Lambert | Dec | Rd 3 | | 05/16/2009
Loss | Antonio Rogerio Nogueira | KO | Rd 2 |Afflict| 01/24/2009
2008 Record: 1-0
Win | Jamal Patterson | Tko | Rd 2 | IFL | 04/04/2008