Kelowna fighter on main UFC card Saturday

Kelowna's Matt Dwyer fights in New Jersey Saturday, Jan. 30.
Image Credit: Facebook/Damon Begg

KELOWNA - Just three fights into his UFC career, Kelowna welterweight Matt Dwyer has experienced a little of everything.

On Saturday he'll get to see one of UFC president Dana White's hand-picked recruits when he steps into the cage against Randy (Rudeboy) Brown on a UFC televised card in Newark, N.J. Brown (6-0-0) was spotted by White at a regional promotion as part of the UFC boss's "Lookin' for a Fight" web series.

Dwyer (8-3-0) is unfazed by the 25-year-old Brown's credentials or his resume.

"A lot of these guys that he was fighting definitely didn't have the experience," he said. "My last five opponents have been killers, to say the least. I've definitely been battle-tested.

"But I'm definitely not taking anything away from Rudeboy. He got his shot to fight in the UFC. The kid's got nothing to lose "

The bout matches two of the UFC's taller 170-pounders. Dwyer is six foot four while Brown is 6-2.

Dwyer, 23, says he enters the cage with the same mindset every time out.

"I like to put on entertaining fights," he said. "No matter what happens, win or lose, the crowd will be entertained."

That approach has earned Dwyer one win and two performance of the night bonuses.

After being stopped in his UFC debut by hard-nosed Russian Albert Tumenov in Halifax in October 2004, Dwyer rallied to knock out William (Patolino) Macario last February in Brazil via Superman punch — something only Travis Browne and James Irvin had done in the UFC before.


Canada’s Matt Dwyer ready to put on show against 'Lookin' For A Fight' alumnus?? Posted by UFC on Wednesday, January 27, 2016

That earned Dwyer a performance of the night bonus.

The Canadian lost via decision to Alain Jouban in July in San Diego but picked up a fight of the night bonus for his efforts.

Dwyer was exhausted by the end of the fight, thanks in part to Jouban but also to an iron deficiency diagnosed during his fight camp.

"I didn't realize how serious it was back then. I was really groggy, just not wanting to train — a bit miserable. I just kind of got through it."

Once the fatigue set in, he had to sacrifice offence for defence.

"I know I could have done more. I'm not taking anything from Jouban, he won the fight. But I could definitely could have done a lot better."

Dwyer was kicked in the head twice in the loss to Tumenov and probably deserved a bonus for getting back to his feet after the first one.

"I was still a little dazed and then got kicked in the face again, which fractured my orbital (bone) and my jaw."

The good news was while he could feel a bump in his face where the orbital bone was protruding, it healed nicely without surgery. Four months later, he was a winner via the one-punch knockout.

"It was an amazing experience before," he said of fighting in Brazil. "I've never even gone on a vacation before. It would be nice to go one on those soon. The first time I've really left Canada was when I went to Brazil."

Collecting $100,000 in bonuses has helped Dwyer focus on training. In the past he has financed his training by working on oil rigs or for a construction company.

Thinking of his future outside the cage, Dwyer invested a good chunk of that money in a company that turns used car tires into crude oil.

Saturday's main event at the Prudential Centre features Anthony (Rumble) Johnson, ranked second among light-heavyweight contenders, against No. 4 Ryan (Darth) Bader. Also on the card, Montreal lightweight Olivier (The Quebec Kid) Aubin-Mercier faces American-based Brazilian Diego Ferreira.

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