If you’ve been only watching MMA for a year or so, then you might not be overly familiar with the name Matt Wiman, despite the fact the lightweight has been with the UFC since 2006.
Yes, when Wiman steps into the Octagon tonight at UFC Fight Night 57, nearly two years will have gone by since the veteran competed last.
So why hasn’t Wiman fought since January, 2013? When he was taken out by TJ Grant at UFC on FOX 6?
Well, recently the 31 year-old spoke with MMA Junkie.com Radio, and not surprisingly, Wiman was asked to explain his time away from the cage (quote via MMA Junkie.com):
“I just wanted to take some time to lick my wounds and maybe get some surgeries to start fixing my body up a little bit…I’ve ignored them for a while,” said Wiman.
“Often times, you take a little time off for some reason; maybe you come back to the basics a little more,” the fighter furthered. “But sometimes when I don’t train for a while, I pick it up a lot better, maybe because I’ve been trying new things and over-thinking things, but sometimes if you take time off and regroup, you come back and you’re better.”
While you often hear a lot about ‘cage rust’, what sometimes gets over looked is the advances a fighter can make, while they’ve been training over an extended period of time. Thus, it will be pretty interesting to see how Wiman performs against Isaac Vallie-Flagg, who is definitely one rugged dude.
Both Wiman and Vallie-Flagg are known for being aggressive fighters, so tonight’s bout could be in the running for “Fight of the Night.”
Prior to Wiman’s loss to Grant, the vet had scored consecutive wins over Mac Danzig and Paul Sass. During his time with the UFC, Wiman has also scored victories over vets like Cole Miller, Michihiro Omigawa and Thiago Tavares.
Vallie-Flagg, meanwhile, is coming off back-to-back decisions losses to Takanori Gomi (which was an awesome slugfest) and Elias Silverio.
UFC FN 57 will be hosted by the Frank Erwin Center in Austin, Texas.
In the main event, Frankie Edgar will throw down with fellow, featherweight contender Cub Swanson.
The card will also feature a pivotal, lightweight fight between Bobby Green and Edson Barboza.