UFC 130 Pits Popular Rampage Against Tough Hamill

UFC 130, this Saturday, May 28 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada, sends one of Mixed Martial Arts most popular fighters, Quinton “Rampage” Jackson, to the Octagon to face-off against the tough Matt Hamill.  Jackson is a solid -350 favorite to take down Hamill.

Before Rampage hits the mat against Hamill, veteran Frank Mir takes on the underrated Roy “Big Country” Nelson in the main prelim bout.  Keep reading for previews of both fights.

UFC 130:  Rampage vs. Hamill

Where:  MGM Grand Arena, Las Vegas, Nevada

When:  May 28, 2011 at 9 pm EST

Quinton “Rampage” Jackson vs. Matt Hamill - - Q will be the first to admit that his split decision victory over Lyoto Machida last November at UFC 123 was due to luck.  Machida out struck Rampage 33 to 16 in that fight, yet he lost to the more popular Jackson.  At least Rampage is playing nice with the UFC brass, nowadays.  Maybe, the film career, Q starred as B.A. Baracus in the movie version of The A-Team, hasn’t taken off the way that he thought it would. 

In any case, Rampage faces a tough opponent in Matt Hamill who, although lacking true marketing appeal, has an 11 and 2 record, better than Rampage’s 31 and 8 record, depending on what point-of-view you’ve got.  Hamill might actually provide “Q” Jackson with a tough fight.  Save for a ridiculous victory over Jon Jones in 2009 via a Bones Jones disqualification, Hamill has been terrific in the Octagon in his recent battles.  He beat Keith Jardine by out striking the well-regarded fighter 77 to 65 in 2010.  Then, he took out Tito Ortiz last October at UFC 121.  In that fight, Hamill out struck Ortiz 41 to 37 and took Tito down 3 times.

Rampage is a deserving favorite in the fight, but if he isn’t revved up for it, Hamill could make the main event interesting.

Frank Mir vs. Roy Nelson - - Mir’s work ethic is what makes him one of the most popular fighters at UFC.  It’s certainly not his fighting style which, as opposed to the more popular battlers in the sport (see Jon Jones, Cain Velasquez, Anderson Silva, etc.), Mir’s mostly a take it to the mat dude.  His skill breakdown lists striking as making up only 16% of his overall skill set.  The terrific grappling/submission ability has led to a 14 and 5 record.

So far, bettors aren’t impressed.  Mir and Nelson are battling it out for favoritism at -115 for both guys in the sportsbook.  Nelson’s 16 and 5 record is legit.  He’s won 2 out of his last 3 fights and lasted 3 rounds with Junior Dos Santos at UFC 117 last August.  Nelson gives up 3 inches to Frank, Mir is 6’ 3” and Nelson is 6’ 0”, but Big Country’s got a serious shot to beat the popular Mir because of his heavy hands.  Nelson’s skill breakdown lists striking at 73%.  He’s also listed as having terrific grappling skills meaning that Frank can’t just go to the mat with the big dude.

Big Country’s issue, what’s always been his issue, is the fact that, unlike Frank Mir, the man doesn’t have the greatest work ethic.  Check out the lively paunch he’ll bring into the ring on Saturday night, the one that escapes no eyes in almost every picture of him without his shirt, in order to get what I mean.  If Big Country is too big out of shape, if the pancakes he’s been eating for breakfast actually appear to be seeping out of his belly, then figure Frank Mir to out work him on the ground.