Ultimate Fighting Championship presents UFC 130: “Jackson vs Hamill”
MGM Grand Garden, Las Vegas, NV
Saturday, May 28, 2011, 9:00 pm Eastern, TV: pay-per-view
The original main event on this card, Frankie Edgar vs Gray Maynard 3, was cancelled due to injury. There are still some great fights on this card though, highlighted by MMA legend Quinton “Rampage” Jackson vs up and coming Matt Hamill in a light heavyweight contenders match. Other fights on the main card include Frank Mir against Roy Nelson, Rick Story and Thiago Alves, Brian Stann vs. Jorge Santiago, and Stephan Struve against Travis Browne. Let’s take a look at each of those fights, with all odds courtesy of Bodog.
Travis “Hapa” Browne (-130) vs Stefan “Skyscraper” Struve (Even), Three Round Heavyweight Bout
It isn’t often that someone 6’7″ and 250 pounds is considered to be the “little guy” but that is the case in this bout. Travis Browne takes on the 6’11” 253 pound Struve in a heavyweight bout. This match should be brutal because of the size of the athletes involved. A 23 year old Dutchman, Struve is 21-4 in his MMA career. He is 4-1 in UFC with his only loss coming to Junior dos Santos in Struves’ UFC debut. Struve escaped with victories against Christian Morecraft and Sean McCorkle, despite being in trouble early in both fights. Browne is 10-0-1 in his career. Browne fought Cheick Kongo to a draw in his last fight.
Browne needs to Struve on the ground for two reasons. One, is just the sheer size of Struve, and the second is Struve doesn’t really have a wrestling background. If Struve stays on his feet he will win.
Browne wins by close decision.
Brian “All-American” Stann (-150) vs Jorge Santiago (+120), three round middleweight bout
Stann is 10-3 in his MMA career, as he takes on the 23-8 Santiago. Stann moved down to middleweight to fight Chris Leben on New Years Day and beat him handily. The Brazilian Santiago left UFC in 2006 after going 1-2, but has a string of wins overseas against tough competition. This should be an action packed fight as neither likes to wait for the right opportunity to strike.
Santiago is a better kickboxer, and has more experience against a better quality of opponents.
Stann has shown a lot of improvement since teaming with trainer Greg Jackson. Stann has shown a remarkable ability to get back to his feet and needs to prevent Santiago from pinning him down.
Though Stann is hot right now, Santiago’s experience will be the difference in a close decision.
Thiago “Pit Bull” Alves (-250) vs Rick “Horror” Story (+190), Three round Welterweight bout
Story has a career record of 12-3 and Alves is 18-7. These two are among the few welterweights that champion Georges St. Pierre hasn’t destroyed yet. this is a contrast in styles as you have the charging, brawling Story against the striking Alves.
Alves normally fights at 190 pounds, and will struggle to make the 170 pound limit. Though he will have a significant size and strength advantage, cardio and conditioning could be an issue.
Story needs to use pressure and takedowns to negate the size advantage of Alves, similar to Jon Fitch. Story can’t go toe to toe with Alves, or he will get destroyed.
Story has the durablity to pull the upset, if he can get enough clinches and take downs. I do think he is worth a play, and will be the next to get a shot at St. Pierre. Rick’s Story has a happy ending with a unanimous decision.
Frank Mir (-140) vs Roy “Big Country” Nelson (+110), Three Round Heavyweight bout
The 32 year old Mir is 14-8 in his career, including a win over Brock Lesnar. He takes on the 34 year old 15-5 Nelson. Both are from Las Vegas are pretty good friends outside of the cage. Nelson hasn’t fought since losing to Junior Dos Santos at UFC 117, almost a year ago. Mir is 3-2 since submitting Lesnar in 2008, but the two losses were knockouts to Shane Carwin and Lesnar in the rematch.
Though Nelson is 263 pounds and has a sizable gut, he is very athletic. He won the Ultimate Fighter season 10 and can dunk a basketball. He is a better wrestler than the 252 Mir, and also a harder puncher. Nelson is also great on the mat as well.
Mir’s most notable recent wins are over the washed up Mirko “Cro Cop” Filipovic and Antonio Nogueira, both by knockout. They are impressive but must be taken with a grain of salt.
Nelson needs to watch out because Mir is most dangerous early in the fight with his guard and submissions. Nelson has the advantage in every other department, including stand-up, clinch, takedowns, and on the ground.
Nelson wins by 3rd round stoppage.
Quinton “Rampage” Jackson (-265) vs Matt “The Hammer” Hamill (+205), Three Round Light Heavyweight bout
The 33 year old Jackson is 31-8 in his career, and is one of the most popular stars in UFC. He takes on the 10-2 Matt Hamill in a light heavyweight contender’s match. Hamill has a win over Tito Ortiz at UFC 121.
Jackson has one glaring weakness, his tendency to want to slug it out when he would be better suited to take down his opponent and pund them into submission. This cost him in losses to Rashad Evans and Forrest Griffin.
Hamill needs to take Jackson down in order to have a chance, but that is easier said than done. Jackson has the chin to go toe-to-toe with him. Hamill is a solid wrestler and that is his biggest advantage.
Jackson should win this fight but he needs to fight his style and not get sucked into what Hamill wants to do. Jackson wins a close fight by decision.
It should be a great card on Memorial Day Weekend UFC card in Vegas. Enjoy your long weekend and remember the brave men an women who died to give you that privilege.