UFC 130 Rampage v. Hamill takes place May 28th at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas. The card has seen numerous changes, losing both Gray Maynard and Frankie Edgar to injury, as well as dropping explosive fighters Thiago Silva and Brad Pickett. Although the main event does not feature two top names, the undercard does have some dynamic fighters that will help keep this card interesting.
Buy it, Bar it or Skip it: At best, this is two-drink minimum at your local watering hole kind of card. With names like Travis Browne and Brian Stann featured on the main card, as well as Matt Hamill in the main event, this is not a particularly stacked card. That being said, the undercard offers many potential FOTN candidates, as well as featuring some up and comers in the UFC. Michael McDonald (USA's version of Rory McDonald), Miguel Torres, Demetrius Johnson and the 24 year old, 25-1 Brazilian Renan Barao give this card a little bit of life. With that in mind, these bouts can be seen for free on Spike and Facebook so it might be a better idea to catch them there and watch the rest of the event through other means ... *cough* stream *cough*.
Renan Barao v. Cole Escovado - Renan Barao via Sub.
Michael McDonald v. Chris Cariaso - Michael McDonald via UD.
Gleison Tibau v. Rafaello Oliviera - Gleison Tibau via SD.
Kendal Grove v. Tim Boetsch - Kendal Grove via UD.
Miguel Torres v. Demetrius Johnson - Miguel Torres via UD
Brian Stann v. Jorge Santiago
Jorge Santiago is making his UFC return after a rough three fight stint where he was on the receiving end of some vicious knock outs. Santiago has looked strong lately, but has been fighting very mediocre opponents. Brian Stann will look to punish him with ground and pound that I expect will earn him either a TKO stop or a decision victory.
Stefan Struve v. Travis Browne
Stefan Struve is the clear favorite in the bout, despite Browne's undefeated record. With the exception of a little speedbump againt Roy Nelson, Struve has looked extremely good lately. I expect his dominance to carry over into this fight where he will use his insane 83 inch reach to get the TKO/KO victory against Browne.
Thiago Alves v. Rick Story
This is a tough fight to call as both of these fighters can win this bout on any given day. I give Alves the edge in both striking and experience and that might end up being the deciding factor. Alves looked quite good in probably his best performance in the UFC against Howard at UFC 124 and if that is any indication of how he will perform against Story, I expect him to win a hard fought decision.
Frank Mir v. Roy Nelson
Although Frank Mir's arrogance might rub some people the wrong way, it's hard to argue that he is not a talented fighter. He struggles occasionally against heavy handed fighters and if he underestimates Roy Nelson's power, it might be a short night. I think Mir is a more well rounded fighter and is smart enough to take the fight to the ground if he starts to get bested on his feet. While Roy Nelson has the chance to end the fight at any time standing, I don't think he will catch Frank Mir, and I expect a unanimous decision victory to go in Mir's favour.
Quinton 'Rampage' Jackson v. Matt Hamill
If you're looking for a value bet, Hamill over Jackson is one of your best options. Not a whole lot of people are giving Matt Hamill much of a chance. While Rampage is a better, more well rounded fighter than Hamill, he is also the type of fighter who looks outstanding one night and mediocre the next. He is coming off a weak decision loss against Rashad Evans and a controversial win over Lyoto Machida, while Hamill has looked strong against an aging Tito Ortiz and Keith Jardine. If Hamill can get Rampage on his back, he might be able to squeak out a decision win. That being said, I don't believe that's how this fight will play out. Hamill's style of stalking his opponent matches up perfectly for Rampage. Hamill offers very little head movement and will likely be easy pickings for Rampage Jackson to work for the knockout. Unless Hamill uses his wrestling effectively, this is Rampage's fight to lose and I expect a TKO/KO victory for Jackson.