Connor Matthews UFC

Ahead of UFC debut, Connor Matthews still finds ways to help those who serve

Read Time:3 Minute, 34 Second

Connor Matthews makes his highly anticipated debut at UFC Atlantic City on March 30th. He takes on Dennis Buzukja in a featherweight clash to kick off his run in the big leagues. We caught up with the lifelong Massachusetts native who provided more insight into his background, MMA journey, and how the two have come together since serving our country.

There is no sport that has connected with the ordinary person like MMA has. Connor is further proof that this violent sport has introduced us to some of the most genuinely good people. Learn about why you should be rooting for “The Controller” and why the world, if they don’t already, will admire him:

He’s Representing The Future of Boston Sports

Loyal to his state of Massachusetts, Matthews grew up a lifelong Boston sports fan. He bragged about growing up in the Tom Brady era, where “it has been nothing but championships.” 

Matthews trains under coach Tyson Chartier at the New England Cartel alongside Calvin Kattar, Rob Font, and Angel Pacheco. The team has begun to further expand and hone their focus on building the next generation of New England fighters. “We always say Boston’s New England Cartel is like Boston’s 5th team,” said Matthews. “Hopefully, I can try to bring a title back up here.”

This fight with Long Island native Buzukja represents the first fight in a two-bout series between the “Yankees vs. Red Sox” equivalents in MMA. In April, Buzukja’s teammate Aljamain Sterling will take on Calvin Kattar at UFC 300.

He’s Helping People Who Fight in The Cage & For Their Country

Where does Matthews get his nickname “The Controller” from? He served as a Combat Controller in the United States Air Force for 6 years. In one of the most mentally taxing jobs in history, he underwent training similar to what Navy SEALs do. His role was to facilitate air traffic, whether it was to call in air strikes or replenish supplies.

After serving the country, Matthews began teaching weekly jiu-jitsu classes to veterans and other first responders. He also enjoys teaching police officers to protect themselves nonviolently when facing resistance. “The more you know, the more you could safely take threats away without actually people getting seriously hurt,” he professed.

This is very similar to what former UFC bantamweight and BKFC star Jimmie Rivera does. He founded a program called Guardian Law Enforcement Defensive Tactics to help his fellow police officers keep themselves and civilians safe. Rivera is a beloved New Jerseyan, and Matthews admitted that working together, “would be awesome.”

Matthews is also making strides in giving back to fighters. He runs a gym in his parents’ basement, where he trains rising stars like Joe Poirier and Andrew Valdina on the regional scene. Not only that, but he also hosts free open mat sessions for veterans on the weekend.

He’s Putting It All Together

Ahead of his UFC debut, “The Controller” has been gaining recognition nationwide. Many from people who can relate or want to follow his journey having walked in similar boots. “It’s usually followers across the country from the military that follow me,” he shared. “So it’s really cool to see.”

Matthews suggested training martial arts for his fellow veterans who have experienced challenges after serving the country. He admitted that losing a couple of his friends while at war caused him grief, and he credited training because it kept his overall life healthy and focused on achieving something.

“I didn’t really expect to get out of the Air Force and make it to the UFC, initially, at least.”

It goes without saying, but a win at UFC Atlantic City would kickstart Matthews’ career to new levels. Not only would it provide job security at the highest level of the sport, but he would be able to continue reaching the masses supporting these who continue to serve. Whether he’s training with a Boston Bruin, or helping the next generation in his mom’s basement, Connor Matthews is the hero MMA didn’t know it needed.

Subscribe to The Scrap and check out the full interview:

Happy
Happy
54 %
Sad
Sad
0 %
Excited
Excited
38 %
Sleepy
Sleepy
0 %
Angry
Angry
0 %
Surprise
Surprise
8 %

About Post Author

Average Rating

5 Star
0%
4 Star
0%
3 Star
0%
2 Star
0%
1 Star
0%

Leave a Reply

PC Strickland Previous post Meet The Man Behind Sean Strickland’s Fan Account: PC Strickland
Snoop Dogg & Conor McGregor Smoking Next post Conor McGregor once thought Snoop Dogg quit Smoking