Aussie welterweight Jake Matthews is entering the prime of his career and has a very simple goal for 2021.

Aussie welterweight Jake Matthews is entering the prime of his career and has a very simple goal for 2021.

“Get a number next to my name,” he told Wide World of Sports.

Now 26, Matthews was one of the youngest fighters in UFC history when he made his debut as a 19-year-old lightweight in 2014.

Since dropping back down a weight class, he’s won all but one of his fights and has his sights set on entering the top 15 by the end of the year.

“Six of my last seven is pretty good, it’d be better to have seven in a row but it’s alright. I’m just taking it fight by fight in these uncertain times, but I’m looking for two to three fights this year, that’s plenty for us,” he said.

“I didn’t come in as a world champion in another promotion or in my prime, I came in as a kid and sort of learned on the job, and am still learning at 26.

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“We’re just going to keep trodding along like we have been, winning fights.”

Matthews will face American Sean Brady on the undercard at UFC 259 this weekend. His opponent is a perfect 13-0 as a professional.

“I think it’s a good match-up. Both of us are well-rounded, we’re not scared to fight anywhere in the cage, we’re both black belts in jiu jitsu, so I think it’ll make for a high-powered explosive fight,” Matthews said.

For the Victorian fighter, the game plan is simple enough: let this guy know he can be beaten.

“I was that undefeated guy once. I just go in and fight the way I fight … my goal is to break their will in the fight, whether that’s by bullying them, technically outperforming them or whatever the fight requires.

“Once you do that, especially to undefeated guys, it makes them realise they’re not invincible and that’s when you’ve got them.”

A win here would be his fourth-straight, and would certainly turn heads at head-office in regards to his future.

“I’ve always left it up to the matchmakers to do what they do and they’ve always given me good match-ups, and they can usually tell when people are ready to break into the rankings and I feel like I’m there,” he said.

“If all goes well, that’s the goal for this year. I think that’s definitely within reach.”

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