Las Vegas – Get to know Dana White’s Contender Series 32 fighter Al “Sweetness” Matavao.
The fourth season of the hit show Dana White’s Contender Series continues with Episode 6, featuring a lineup of rising athletes looking to make their dreams come true by impressing UFC President Dana White and earning a spot on the UFC roster.
The sixth episode of season four takes place on Tuesday, September 8 at 8 p.m. ET / 5 p.m. PT, with all five bouts streaming exclusively on ESPN+ in the US. ESPN+ is available through ESPN.com, ESPNPlus.com, or the ESPN App on all major mobile and connected TV devices and platforms, including Amazon Fire, Apple, Android, Chromecast, PS4, Roku, Samsung Smart TVs, X Box One, and more. Fans can sign up for $4.99 per month or $49.99 per year, with no contract required.
NAME: Al Matavao
FULL NAME: Aljandro Lamarr Matavao
NICKNAME: Al “Sweetness” Matavao
WEIGHT CLASS: Light heavyweight
AGE: 26 years old – 2/23/94
HEIGHT/WEIGHT: 5-8, 205
BIRTHPLACE: Pago Pago, American Samoa
FIGHTING OUT OF: Anchorage, Alaska
LANGUAGES SPOKEN: Samoan, English
STYLE: Muay Thai and BJJ
TRAINER: Striking Coach – Ali Isaako / BJJ Coach – Jordan Kontra
STRENGTHS: Striking and speed
TRAINING: Full-time job 4am – 1pm, nap and refuel body, gym/training 5pm – 9pm, repeat
PROFESSIONAL MMA RECORD: 8-2
Thoughts on opponent, Tafon Nchukwi? He’s a really nice guy and very well-spoken. I respect him as a person and a fighter.
When and why did you start training for fighting? I started training for professional fighting when I met my fiancée, who introduced me to the Muay Thai classes she was taking regularly. That’s where I met my striking coach, who saw potential in me and invited me to join his MMA classes and meet the MMA team. I originally started going because I thought she was cute 😉 but the reason why I continued to attend the MMA classes and fighting is that it was an opportunity to provide for myself and my family. I started to take it seriously after a loss in front of Dana White when he was in Anchorage because I didn’t feel I fully proved myself to belong in the MMA industry.
What ranks and titles have you held? 1) Alaska Fighting Championship light heavyweight champ – current. 2) X-1 Hawaii light heavyweight champ – current. 3) Blue belt in Jiu-Jitsu.
Do you have any heroes? My mom, Nu’ulau Faaseu, because she is the hardest working person that I have ever known.
What would it mean for you to fight in the UFC? It would mean everything to me because I worked hard to rise again after my loss in front of Dana White. I would be honored to represent my island of American Samoa on such a high level of professionalism and show those who are just like me following their passions that hard work pays off; you just have to put in the time and effort.
Did you go to college and if so what degree did you earn? I did not go to college right out of high school; however, I am now enrolled at UAA and am starting my first college course this fall of 2020.
What was your job before you started fighting? I worked for Coca-Cola Bottling of Alaska when I first started fighting. I currently hold a full-time job, along with my training, at Nabisco here in Anchorage, Alaska. Who wants Oreos? 😉
Specific accomplishments in amateur competition? Thursday Night Fights in Anchorage Alaska – Boxing Record 5-2, MMA Record 2-0
Specific accomplishments in pro competition? AFC – 2015 won the light heavyweight belt, X1 Hawaii – 2019 won the light heavyweight belt, Anchorage Alaska Grappling Tournament – 2017 Silver Medal in the Absolute Division, 2018 Bronze Medal in the Medium-Heavy Division
Favorite grappling technique: Arm Drag and Ankle Pick
Favorite Striking technique: Uppercut
Facebook account: Al Matavao
Instagram account: @sweetness684
OTHER KEY POINTS:
- Pro since 2015
- On four fight winning streak
- Five wins by KO, one by submission (guillotine)
- Four first round finishes
- Origin of nickname: “Simply because I love sweets.”
Roberto Villa is the CEO, Founder, Executive Writer, Senior Editor of FightBook MMA. Has a passion for Combat Sports and also a podcast host for Sitting Ringside. He’s also a former MMA fighter and Kickboxer.
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