Former international amateur standout Rostem Akman (6-1) will return to the UFC Octagon at the Marvel Stadium in Melbourne on Oct. 6, set to take on Australia’s own Jake Matthews (14-4) at UFC 243.
During his two-year amateur tenure from 2014 to 2016, Akman was a staple of the SMMAF Swedish national team and a global front-runner in the IMMAF middleweight rankings, winning IMMAF World Championships bronze during UFC Fight Week at Las Vegas 2016, and back-to-back IMMAF European Open gold medals in Birmingham 2015 and Prague 2016.
Akman’s pro debut saw an experienced and highly mature amateur veteran transition with ferocity, trading in his strong yet reserved tournament based style for an aggressive showcase that spanned 6 consecutive pro wins via stoppage.
At 6-0 Akman received a short notice call to step in against Russia’s Sergey Khandozokho, a veteran of 30 pro bouts. The June 1 clash in Akman’s home town of Stockholm saw Khandozokho take the contentious unanimous decision win while Akman’s performance received international plaudits for what was a thrilling UFC debut.
In contrast, Matthews continues his 6-year UFC run following a successful debut in 2014. 7-4 in the UFC (14-4 overall), Matthews was defeated in his last outing via submission (anaconda choke) at the hands of Anthony Rocco Martin.
The UFC middleweight titles will be decided in the main event of UFC 243 as Australia’s defending champion, Robert Whittaker faces interim champion Israel Adesanya in a potential fight of the year collision.
By IMMAF.org lead writer: Jorden Curran