5/25/2011 11:04:00 PM
UFC 130: Rampage vs. Hamill is this Saturday and what was once a super-badass card of awesome has been slowly downgraded to aight. The original main event was supposed to be Frankie Edgar versus Gray Maynard for the Lightweight Title. Those two dudes battled (and I mean battled) to a draw at UFC 125 and this was supposed to be the epic rematch (tri-match?). Both guys, however, had to pull out of the bout earlier this month because of injuries and will have their eventual third fight… eventually.
The co-main event for this card was originally rumoured to be Quinton "Rampage" Jackson versus Thiago Silva. Silva, however, failed his drug test from his last fight and that idea was quickly scrapped. Meanwhile, Tito Ortiz was supposed to fight Little Nog at UFC Fight Night: Seattle but pulled out cause of a training injury and was replace by "Mr. Wonderful" Phil Davis who was supposed to be Matt Hamill's opponent at UFC 129 and if you've guessed from the title, Hamill was plugged in to fight Rampage and now it's the main event.
Matt Hamill's an elite wrestler, one of the best wrestlers at 205 but his striking isn't quite the best. I mean, the dude's got a ton of power but technically it's not there. The key for Hamill is to do what Rashad did to Rampage UFC 114. He'd want to employ the Randy Couture game plan: shove your opponent against the cage, dirty box and use knees in the clinch to soften them up, once their will's broken take them down and beat on them some more. It worked very well last year for Rashad and I'm not sure what else Hamill could do to beat him. For Rampage, it's pretty simple: don't take Matt Hamill lightly! Rampage should crush him but if he comes into this fight not taking Hamill seriously enough or thinking about why they haven't started making A-Team 2 he could easily lose this fight.
The co-main event will see Frank Mir take on Roy "Big Country" Nelson. Both guys really need this one if they ever want a sniff of gold. Mir's fresh off a snoozefest knock out win over Mirko Cro Cop. The knockout itself was actually pretty sick, but everything leading up to it was so unwatchable Dana White didn't give Mir the Knockout of the Night bonus even though it was the only knockout that night. Big Country's been sidelined with contract issues since his loss to Junior dos Santos last August. Neither guy's job is on the line for this one but losing makes that climb to the top that much steeper. Add to that the looming possibility of an eventual absorption of Strikeforce's heavyweight division, their window's closing, they both need a win and cannot afford a loss.
I'll be back with part deux later this week.