UFC welterweight Jake Matthews has revealed the long-term damage he suffered in his decision victory over Li Jingliang. His three-round fight with the Chinese prospect took place back in 2018, but Matthews has only now spoken out about the life-changing damage he received.
Matthews posted a video on his Instagram account, revealing that he now has no choice but to wear glasses. Jingliang landed some of the worst eye gouges in UFC history when the two men fought, clearly breaching the UFC's rules. Matthews captioned the video with the following statement:
"It's not always 50k bonuses and rainbows. There is a toll to pay to be in this game, understand that and be ready, because this sports takes so much and only a small percentage of fighters ever really get something out of it. I STILL LOVE THIS SH#@"
Jake Matthews issues a warning to MMA newbies
Jake Matthews used the video as a warning to those getting into MMA that whilst there is money and fame to be had at the top, there is also an extreme physical toll. He stated:
"Just a quick message to the young blood getting into the sport. This sport requires a 100 percent commitment and most of the time, doesn't give much back. And can take a toll on your body. So just understand that."
However, the Australian fighter did also state that whilst that was a negative byproduct of the industry, he still loves the sport and is ready for his next fight. He continued:
"I still love it, still gonna keep fighting. Still gonna keep doing it."
Jake Matthews' Career Post Eye Injury
When Jake Matthews initially fought Jingliang, he was still an upcoming prospect. He is now an established figure in the UFC's welterweight division, having picked up wins over high-level opposition such as Emil Meek and Diego Sanchez.
Despite these wins, Matthews no longer carries with him the hype that saw the young Australian as the biggest favorite at UFC 253. He currently holds a 17-5 record in MMA, and has gone 6-3 in the UFC.
He most recently dropped a submission loss at UFC 259, after being caught in an arm triangle by a new rising star in Sean Brady. The fight was a competitive affair, with Matthews still giving a respectable account of himself despite the loss. He was only given a short medical suspension, which ended on April 6th.