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Connor Matthews Won the Main Event at "Dana White: Lookin' For a Fight" in Boston!

The Pandemic proved to be a less-than-optimal time for up-and-coming MMA fighters to get fights and build their resume. Connor Matthews, a former Air Force Combat Controller from Freetown, Massachusetts, was one fighter who was forced to endure multiple changes in opponents due to last-minute cancellations. He even fought in empty arenas to keep his skills sharp and his name out there. Through it all, The Controller remained steadfast in his pursuit of excellence and securing a spot in the UFC.

Last year, he took his 5-0 record into the Octagon in Dana White's Contender Series, Season Six, for a chance to sign a UFC contract. Connor prepared like he always did, but against 23-year-old Francis Marshall, a very good young and upcoming fighter who's currently 7-0, he ate too many punches, some on the chin, but he refused to go down, and he refused to quit, displaying the heart of a champion. It was a disappointing loss, but certainly not the end of his career. In a lot of ways, it was the beginning

After healing, Connor was back in the gym, incredibly motivated by his first loss. He's a glass-half-full kind of guy, and he remained determined to continue to fight, impress Dana White, and get that UFC contract.

He was the main event of Combatzone 79 in Boston last night, part of the "Dana White: Lookin' For a Fight" series, and with Dana sitting ringside in search of new talent, Connor understood the importance his performance would have on his future, and at age 30, time was of the essence. He had to win impressively…

Connor changed up his training after becoming a member of the New England Cartel, whose fighters have reputations for using all their limbs as weapons, changing stances continuously during the fight, and remaining unpredictable in their approach. For this fight, he trained with Calvin "The Boston Finisher" Kattar and Rob Font, two top ten UFC fighters in their respective divisions, who have a combined 42 wins. Connor also trained a lot in his "Mom's Basement", but still managed to go into the fight focused, in great shape, and determined to earn the UFC contract that had eluded him…

His opponent, Andrew Cruz, known for his constant pressure, came in with a very respectable 8-4 record and proven fighting skills. He was not to be taken lightly. The fight was at 145 lbs., and both fighters made weight.

Connor entered the arena wearing a shamrock green scally cap and matching shorts, and with traditional Irish music playing, the hometown crowd went absolutely wild. What an incredible walkout!

Connor started quickly, displaying sharp punching and landing some clean shots that got Cruz's attention. Connor looked incredibly balanced as he took the fight to his opponent, who didn't seem to have an answer for Connor's speed or his power.

After dominating the first three minutes of round one, Connor shifted into another gear, clearly looking to end the fight as quickly as possible. After softening Cruz up with a barrage of punches and kicks early, he moved in for the kill, which for Connor, means taking his opponent to the ground where he excels, and few opponents survive.

With just over a minute left in round one, Connor secured a rear naked choke, and Cruz wisely tapped out at 3:57 of the first round.

It was a "Statement Win" for Matthews, who improved his professional record to 6-1.

What's next for The Controller? You'll have to ask Dana White…