clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

UFC 130 Morning After: Rampage vs. Hamill, a Dud of a Main Event

Rampage Jackson

A few months ago, when UFC 130 was first scheduled, it looked like a hell of a fight card: Frankie Edgar would take on Gray Maynard in the rematch of their epic lightweight title fight, and Rampage Jackson would take on Thiago Silva in what promised to be a thrilling, hard-hitting co-main event.

What we actually got at UFC 130 was a lot different: Edgar and Maynard both dropped out of the event with injuries, Silva got busted for cheating on a drug test, and we were left with Rampage vs. Matt Hamill as a main event.

What else can be said but that the main event turned into a dud?

Rampage vs. Hamill looked like a bad fight on paper, and it turned out to be a bad fight in the Octagon: Hamill is a swell guy whom UFC fans will always like and respect, but he's just not in the same class as Rampage. It was a one-sided beatdown from start to finish, and a disappointing main event. The first Edgar vs. Maynard fight was the UFC's best main event so far this year. Rampage vs. Hamill was the worst.

And as bad as losing the Edgar-Maynard fight was, losing Silva from what had been scheduled as a co-main event fight with Rampage was big, too. A Silva-Rampage fight would have been guaranteed fireworks. It's not just that Hamill isn't as good as Silva, it's also that he has a very different fighting style than Silva, and a Rampage-Hamill fight is just not as compelling as Rampage-Silva would have been.

And, of course, when you lose a main event, all the other fights have to move up a spot on the card. So when Rampage-Silva as the co-main turned into Rampage-Hamill as the main event, that bumped Frank Mir vs. Roy Nelson into the co-main event spot. So while Edgar-Maynard and Rampage-Silva would have been awesome main and co-main events, what fans got instead were lousy main and co-main events, Rampage-Hamill and Mir-Nelson.

The first three fights on the pay-per-view card were all entertaining, so it's not like the fans who bought the pay-per-view didn't get any value for their money. But they didn't get the value they were hoping for. This was a fight card that once looked great, and instead turned into a disappointment.

Notes from UFC 130
-- According to CompuStrike, Tim Boetsch was successful on nine of 11 takedown attempts against Kendall Grove. Boetsch has always had good striking power, and if he's able to be that effective with takendowns now that he has moved down from light heavyweight to middleweight, he's going to be a force at 185 pounds.

-- Stefan Struve is 5-3 in his UFC career, and at just 23 years old, he has a lot of promise. But I have to say, I'm worried about his future if he doesn't get better at striking defense. All three of his UFC losses have been by first-round knockout: To Junior Dos Santos, to Roy Nelson and now, on Saturday, to Travis Browne.

-- The UFC has started showing fighters' Twitter handles under their names on its on-screen graphics. At a time when other major sports leagues are terrified that athletes will use social media to say something embarrassing, this was yet another indication that the UFC is way ahead of the pack on that front.

Quotes from UFC 130
"You just moved up the ladder here tonight, kid. It's a big, big victory for you. From here on it's nothing but top contenders." -- Joe Rogan to Rick Story. He's right. Story has a big future ahead of him in the welterweight division.

"How many times did I hit him in the face? What's up with that guy's chin?" -- Frank Mir after battering Roy Nelson for 15 minutes. In Nelson's last two fights he has been in the cage for six rounds with Mir and Junior dos Santos, and although he was beaten badly both times, he certainly does have a great chin, as neither man was able to knock Nelson out.

Good call
"This seems to be the difference between a real, true, legitimate heavyweight and a guy who's fighting at heavyweight because he likes food." -- Rogan on Frank Mir vs. Roy Nelson. Rogan was right: Nelson won't be a great fighter until he's willing to take his diet and conditioning seriously, as a professional athlete should.

Bad call
When Jackson and Hamill backed away from each other with about 90 seconds to go in the main event, Mike Goldberg said, "A little respect from both men," as if they were backing away because they like each other. In reality, they were backing away because they were fatigued, and the fans were justified in their booing.

Stock up
Herb Dean showed once again that he's the best referee in the business because he thinks of everything. When the timekeeper gave the 10-second warning at the end of the rounds of the main event, Dean held up 10 fingers to show the deaf Hamill that there were 10 seconds left. Contrast Dean's work with the athletic commission official who interrupted Hamill's corner after the first round of the fight and didn't seem to realize that Hamill is deaf and needed a sign language interpreter.

Stock Down
Thiago Alves is never going to compete at a high level again if he doesn't figure out how to stop a takedown. His loss to Story was the third time in Alves's last four fights that a superior wrestler has been able to control him and win a decision, and as great a striker as Alves is, it's clear that other fighters realize that there's a giant hole in Alves's game.

Final thought
Given the light heavyweight landscape right now and the timing of Jon Jones' return from a hand injury, Rampage Jackson is probably the best choice available to get the next light heavyweight title shot, if Rampage himself is healthy. But as dominant as Jackson was against Hamill, he didn't do anything to indicate he'd have much of a chance of getting the light heavyweight belt back. Rampage can sleepwalk his way through a victory against an opponent like Hamill, but he'd need to fight at a much higher level to have a prayer against Jones.

Sign up for the newsletter Sign up for the MMA Fighting Daily Roundup newsletter!

A daily roundup of all your fighting news from MMA Fighting