Urbana High alum Matthew Semelsberger's next UFC appearance reportedly taking shape

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Joshua R. Smith, The Frederick News-Post, Md.
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Apr. 29—The swift and exclamatory conclusion of Matthew Semelsberger's second UFC fight led to the likely scenario that the Urbana High alum would be tapped again relatively soon by the world's premier mixed martial arts organization.

It appears the surging welterweight (170 pounds) from Ijamsville is on track to enter the octagon for the third time in June, just three months after his most recent appearance, to face Khaos Williams at a UFC Fight Night event.

A Wednesday report by mmajunkie.com, which covers the sport as part of the USA Today network, said the pairing is being finalized.

Wildbunch Management, which represents Semelsberger, made a vague post on Facebook about the potential matchup, with images of both fighters, but it didn't confirm anything about the bout.

"It's not official until the organization announces it," Steven Gaugler, of Wildbunch, said Thursday.

Semelsberger, 28, is looking to build on a scintillating encore to his 2020 UFC debut. On March 13 in Las Vegas, "Semi the Jedi" obliterated Jason Witt with a right hand just 16 seconds into their meeting.

It was Semelsberger's fifth straight victory, second straight in the famed octagon — and it was the seventh-fastest KO in company history.

About seven months had elapsed between his first two UFC appearances. That setup was designed by Semelsberger, who wanted a full camp to ramp up after defeating Carlton Minus on relatively short notice after signing a multi-fight contract in early August.

The strategy worked in his favor. Training at Elkridge's Crazy 88 MMA and Frederick's Clinch Academy, Semelsberger (8-2 overall) was able to strengthen his wrestling, refine his striking skills and enhance his conditioning as he prepared for Witt.

Semi had defeated Minus in a rather routine three-round unanimous decision, but he served notice with his brutal treatment of Witt — which provided instant notoriety thanks to the brief snippet of action being so easily consumed and shared online.

If Williams (11-2 overall, 2-1 UFC) ends up being Semelsberger's next foe, it will be a clash of two men who have both notched rapid knockouts in their brief UFC careers.

Williams, known as "The Oxfighter," had a two-fight streak to open his UFC career that made him one of the year's top breakthrough fighters. He finished Alex Morono in just 27 seconds on Feb. 8, 2020, using devastating punches that had Morono flummoxed almost immediately. Then, Williams dispatched Abdul Razak Alhassan in 30 seconds on Nov. 14.

The 27-year-old from Lansing, Michigan, followed up those wins by dropping a unanimous decision to Michael Pereira on Dec. 19.

It figures to be a step up in competition for Semelsberger, standard practice when new fighters impress. And it would be a chance for him to do what he desires most — prove himself and entertain fans on the biggest stage in the sport with a "kill or be killed" approach.

According to the report, a Semelsberger-Williams fight would be part of a June 19 card that, to date, has no set venue.

Follow Joshua R. Smith on Twitter: @JoshuaR_Smith