Top MMA News Breaks Down UFC 130: Rampage vs. Hamill
Main event fights will be aired via PPV and the televised portion of the prelim card will be aired in Canada on Spike TV and in HD on Rogers Sportsnet.
Here is the Top MMA News breakdown:
Quinton Jackson (-333) vs. Matt Hamill (+220)
Former UFC Light-Heavyweight champion Quinton Jackson made his Pride debut against the venerable Kazushi Sakuraba back in July of 2001. Since then, Rampage has showcased his hard hitting style on the world stage while earning an impressive record of 21-7. Rampage has racked up wins over many legends of the sport such as Dan Henderson, Ricardo Arona, Chuck Liddell, Murilo Bustamente, Igor Vovchanchyn and Kevin Randleman. In his latest victory over former UFC champion Lyoto Machida, Rampage proved he still has what it takes to bring the fight to the best pound for pound fighters in the world.
Matt Hamill is a dangerous wrestler with heavy hands but compared to Rampage, he is still relatively green in the sport. His recent win over Tito Ortiz has catapulted him up the UFC ranks, but in my opinion it may be too much too soon for The Ultimate Fighter alumnus.
Jackson is entering this fight with a lot of advantages, he has better stand up skills, more experience and he might be a better wrestler. If Hamill can control Rampage with his Greco-Roman wrestling the way Rashad Evans did back in May of 2010 at UFC 114, he has a real chance of winning a decision in this fight. Outside of that very real possibility, I see Quinton taking this fight and reaffirming his status as a top contender in the division.
Prediction: Quinton Jackson via Third Round TKO.
Frank Mir (-139) vs. Roy Nelson(+100)
Frank Mir and Roy Nelson are both very well rounded veterans of the sport. Roy is a former IFL champion and winner of the The Ultimate Fighter Season 10. Mir is a former UFC Heavyweight and interim Heavyweight champion.
Stylistically these two former champs are very similar. They both possess deadly ground games and knockout power on their feet. I think Roy will have the edge in mental toughness and physical endurance so if this fight goes the distance and Roy pushes the pace, I think he will win the decision.
Mir, on the other hand, will likely do very well early in this fight. Dos Santos couldn’t finish Roy on his feet so I don’t see Mir pulling off another impressive KO victory like he did against Crocop. Roy is an experienced grappler so a submission victory for Mir is unlikely as well. I think Frank’s best strategy is to pressure Roy using his reach advantage and then take Roy down once in each round to rest. Mir is the bigger stronger man so if he stay’s fresh and aggressive in he will win a decision.
Prediction: Roy Nelson by Split Decision
Stefan Struve (+110) vs. Travis Browne (-152)
Travis Browne showed great movement, power and patience in his recent fight against James McSweeney during the Ultimate Fighter 11 season finale. On his feet Travis is very fast and agile for a big man. I think Browne’s heavy hands and octagon movement will give him an advantage standing in this fight. Browne’s weakness is his questionable cardio which he showcased in his fight against Chuck Kongo at UFC 120.
Struve has a lot of potential in the sport but his wrestling will probably always be liability. The Heavyweight divisional ranks are stacked with former collegiate wrestlers. If Struve can utilize his reach and height advantage to score a knockdown he has what it takes to finish fights on the ground by TKO or submission.
Prediction: Travis Browne via First Round TKO
Thiago Alves (-263) vs. Rick Story (+180)
Rick Story is entering this fight riding a five fight win streak in the UFC. In his most recent performance against Johny Hedricks, Rick Story looked extremely strong and well rounded. He proved he has what it takes to win against the very best wrestlers in the division. Story’s biggest advantage in this fight is his size and strength. Thiago typically relies on his size and power advantage to help even the odds against great wrestlers. Story could really surprise Alves with his takedowns and top game if Story decides to try and out wrestle Alves.
Alves looked incredible in his last fight against John Howard at UFC 124 in December of last year. Alves dominated Howard with his vicious leg kicks and crisp disciplined striking. If Story tries to stalk Thiago down and knock him out like Howard did, Alves will probably pick Story apart with his leg kicks and combinations.
This is a great match up. I’m expecting a war.
Prediction: Thiago Alves via Unanimous Decision
Brian Stann (-152) vs. Jorge Santiago (+110)
Jorge Santiago hasn’t fought in the octagon since December of 2006. Since that time Jorge has really developed as a fighter. Jorge won the Strikeforce Middleweight Grand Prix in 2007, the Sengoku Middleweight Grand Prix in 2008 and in 2009 he became the World Victory Road Sengoku Middle Weight Champion. He has held that title ever since.
Brian Stann is coming off a huge knockout victory over Chris Leben at UFC 125 in January of this year. Stann is a well rounded fighter and has looked great since moving down to Middleweight. Stann will be a really good test for Santiago. It’s very difficult to rank fighters who primarily fight in Japan but I think Santiago will prove that he deserves to be fight top ten ranked fighters in the middleweight division.
Prediction: Jorge Santiago via Third Round TKO