UFC 130: Rampage Jackson defeats Matt Hamill, Frank Mir beats Roy Nelson
UFC 130 takes place from the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, headlined by a light-heavyweight bout between Quinton "Rampage" Jackson and Matt Hamill. Additional pay-per-view bouts include Frank Mir vs. Roy Nelson, Jorge Santiago vs. Brian Stann and Rick Story vs. Thiago Alves.
Before the event, Strikeforce CEO Scott Coker formally announced Strikeforce's July 30 card from Chicago will be headlined by a 220-pound catchweight contest between Dan Henderson and Fedor Emelianenko. Additionally, the five prelim bouts from the show will be broadcast on HDNet in a two hour block, including Gesias Cavalcante vs. Justin Wilcox and K.J. Noons vs. Jorge Masvidal. Future Strikeforce Challengers events starting in July will all take place at the Pearl at the Palms in Las Vegas.
Quinton Jackson vs. Matt Hamill
Jackson is a former UFC light heavyweight champion and has fought many of the world's all time best fighters in Pride and the UFC. Hamill has a wrestling background and notable wins over Keith Jardine, Tito Ortiz and Mark Munoz. A deaf athlete, there is a movie coming out on his life and career. This was originally scheduled to be the semi-main event of this show, but a lightweight title bout between Frank Edgar and Gray Maynard was canceled due to injuries.
Round 1. Hamill lands a leg kick at the start of the fight. Hamill shoots for a takedown but Jackson defends and lands some big punches on Hamill for the effort. Jackson connects with a right hook that sends Hamill back. Hamill backs up Jackson with a pair of straight punches. Hamill moves in for a takedown and nearly gets caught with an uppercut in the process. Hamill goes for another takedown and this time eats a knee. Jackson is doing a good job creating significant disincentives for Hamill to try takedowns. Hamill goes for another takedown and again eats a big knee in response. Jackson gets Hamill against the cage and opens up with some power punches and a vicious knee to the body. Hamill is bleeding from the mouth. 10-9 Jackson.
Round 2. Jackson immediately goes back to work with power punches. Hamill again looks for a takedown but doesn't come close. Hamill tries again for the takedown. He doesn't get it but at least this time he is able to retain a clinch. Hamill keeps looking for the takedown and Jackson hammers him with knees and an uppercut. Hamill starts to go for a takedown but seems to think better of it two feet out and Jackson pushes forward with heavy punches in response. Hamill lands a jab and circles while Jackson pushes the action. Hamill goes for another takedown and receives an uppercut and hook this time in retaliation. Jackson connects with a hard hook but Hamill has a very good chin and appears in no danger. Jackson goes to the body with a pair of punches and then a couple knees to the body. 10-9 Jackson. The result of this fight seems inevitable by this point.
Round 3. Hamill looks for a superman punch at the onset. Hamill looks for the takedown but doesn't come close. Jackson lands a body punch and knee to the body and Hamill pushes him against the cage. Jackson connects with an elbow and hook that may have been his best punch of the fight. Hamill absorbed it without any trouble. He can take a punch. The crowd boos as the pace slows down. Jackson punishes Hamill with another knee to the body. He lands another big knee to the body moments later and opens up with additional punches to close the round. Hamill takes a knee as the round ends and someone throws a drink at the Octagon. Solid but unspectacular win for Jackson. 10-9 Jackson, 30-27 Jackson.
Winner: Quinton Jackson, unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27). The crowd boos the decision being read, clearly in reaction to not liking the fight as opposed to thinking Hamill won. Jackson says that he injured his hand. Jackson is now in line for a title shot against Jon Jones.
RELATED: UFC 130 photo gallery
Frank Mir vs. Roy Nelson
Mir and Nelson are two of the best Las Vegas born and bred MMA fighters. They are former training partners and get along well. Mir comes into this fight with a dense, muscular physique, while Nelson has a big belly as usual.
Round 2. The crowd applauds loudly as they touch gloves to start the round. Nelson connects with a straight right to begin, and Mir then opens up with punches of his own and pushes Nelson against the cage. Mir gets the takedown. Mir drops some elbows but Nelson stands back up. The crowd reacts big to that. They trade uppercuts up against the cage. Mir takes Nelson back down halfway through the round. Nelson is fully down but he works his way back up. Mir lands a pair of kicks to the body and Nelson answers with an overhand right. Nelson goes for a takedown but Mir easily defends. They clinch as the round wears down. Both men look tired but Nelson looks particularly exhausted. 10-9 Mir.
Round 3. They are moving in slow motion now. Neither man appears to have much left. Mir gets a takedown. Mir looks for a kimura but doesn't come close. Nelson stands back up. Mir drops down and gets another double leg takedown. Nelson scrambles out and they end up back against the cage with 90 seconds left in the fight. Mir takes Nelson back down again. Mir drops some hard elbows. Nelson gets up one more time with 30 seconds left in the fight. Nelson prevents a final takedown as the fight concludes. The fighters hug and put their hands on their knees to regain their breath. 10-9 Mir, 30-27 Mir.
Winner: Frank Mir, unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-26).
Gleison Tibau vs. Rafaello Oliveira
Tibau is a longtime UFC veteran who has fought many of the top 155 pound fighters. Oliveira has about a third the experience and nowhere near as many big time fights. Both are Brazilians who train in the United States. With time running low on the Facebook portion of the event, neither man gets an entrance.
Round 1. They start off with a lot of boxing, throwing plenty of hooks. Tibau gets a takedown but Oliveira immediately pushes Tibau off and gets back up. Oliveria lands a nice body kick and follows with a pair of punches. Tibau connects with a quality hook and takes Oliveira down. Oliveira gets back up but eats a straight left punch in the process. Close round. 10-9 Tibau.
Round 2. They exchange punches to start the round. Oliveira lands the best punch of the bunch with a looping left. Tibau scores a takedown a minute and a half into the round. Tibau looks for an arm triangle choke from the top but can't get it and Oliveira stands back up. Oliveira then presses Tibau against the cage and tries for a takedown. Tibau reverses and lands a punch that rocks Oliveira. Oliveira goes down, Tibau follows with additional punches, and takes Oliveira's back. Tibau throws punches from that position and then sinks in a rear naked choke for the submission.
Winner: Gleison Tibau, round 2, submission.
Tim Boetsch vs. Kendall Grove
Both Boetsch and Grove are veterans of the UFC. Grove's strengths lie in his striking and jiu jitsu while Boetsch has always relied heavily on his wrestling and power.
Round 1. Boetsch grabs a leg and takes Grove down. He starts throwing down punches from half guard. Boetsch stands back up. Grove lands a straight left/right and Boetsch answers with a hook. Boetsch presses Grove against the cage and takes Grove back down. Boetsch throws some punches and stands back up. They clinch on the feet and exchange knees. 10-9 Boetsch.
Round 2. Grove looks to use his reach advantage with straight punches. Boetsch fires back with a push kick that is one of his most regular weapons. They clinch against the cage and Boetsch uses a nice trip takedown. He lands in side control. Grove eventually gets back up but is taken down again and again ends up in side control. Grove stands back up and Boetsch again looks to take him back down. He secures yet another takedown but this time ends up in Grove's guard. Boetsch stands back up and Grove lands a high kick as the round comes to a close. Grove needs a finish in the third round. 10-9 Boetsch.
Round 3. Boetsch takes Grove back down immediately. Grove stands back up and they end up in the clinch again. Boetsch uses a beautiful judo toss to send Grove back down and throws some knees to the body as Grove gets back up. Grove lands a couple punches but Boetsch again closes the distance. Boetsch appears tired but Grove is down big. Boetsch takes Grove down again but Grove looks for an armbar. He can't get it. Grove gets up but is taken back down yet again. Grove throws up his legs for an armbar but doesn't come close. Grove finally takes Boetsch down with less than a minute but Boetsch grabs Grove's neck and takes top position back. 10-9 Boetsch, 30-27 Boetsch. This has not been an exciting card thus far.
Winner: Tim Boetsch, unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27).
Miguel Torres vs. Demetrious Johnson
Torres, the former WEC bantamweight champion, is considered one of the best 135 pound fighters in the sport. Johnson is an undersized but exceedingly quick fighter with a strong wrestling base.
Round 1. There are still empty seats all over the house as the main card approaches. Johnson lands a pair of leg kicks at the start of the round. They clinch. Torres looks for a takedown. Johnson blocks it. Torres lands a big knee but Johnson takes him down. Torres immediately executes an impressive sweep to secure top position. Torres looks for an arm triangle choke. He gets side control and looks to mount, but Johnson gets him back into half guard. Torres throws some punches from top position. Johnson sweeps and takes top position. Torres looks for a leg lock but can't get it. Johnson ends up on top with a little less than a minute left in the round. Torres again looks for a sweep and then a triangle. After a crazy scramble Johnson ends up back on top. 10-9 Torres.
Round 2. Johnson charges forward with punches. He shoots and takes Torres down. Torres looks for a submission from the bottom and gets back up. Johnson takes him back down. Torres sweeps him but Johnson pushes through and takes top position again. Torres looks for a triangle choke but can't get it. Torres' strength has been a big difference in this fight. He's able to move Johnson around much more effectively even if Johnson has a wrestling edge. Johnson lands a few punches but mostly just concentrates on retaining top position. Johnson opens up a cut by Torres' eye with punches and elbows. Johnson takes side control and keeps pushing as the round concludes. 10-9 Johnson.
Round 3. Johnson lands a hard right hook and takes Torres down again. Torres has a unique grip with his arms around Johnson's shoulder. He lets that go and returns to full guard. These two move very quickly on the ground and don't stay very long in any one position. Johnson works into side control. Another quick scramble ends with Johnson having Torres' back but no hooks in. Johnson throws a few punches and ends up on top in guard. This has been a fun grappling battle. Torres reverses into full mount on Johnson with two minutes remaining. Johnson executes a really smooth reversal using Torres' leg to end up back in guard with Torres on top. Torres grabs a guillotine choke and they fight for position. On the feet, Johnson throws a few big knees and takes Torres down to close the round. Exciting, unique fight. 10-9 Johnson, 29-28 Johnson.
Winner: Demetrious Johnson, unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28). The crowd boos, but they liked Torres better coming out and it was absolutely a just decision. Johnson was limping badly coming out of the cage.
Brian Stann vs. Jorge Santiago
Stann, the former US Marine hero, is coming off the biggest win of his MMA career over Chris Leben in the semi-main event of UFC 125. Jorge Santiago struggled in UFC competition years ago, but went on a tremendous streak of success outside of UFC and now returns to the UFC a more highly regarded fighter than he ever was previously. Lil Jon and Warren Sapp are sitting next to each other in the front row.
Round 1. USA chants as the round starts. Stann starts with a couple leg kicks. He lands a nice straight right punch. Santiago answers with a body kick. Stann is cut under his eye but it's not in a bad place. Santiago shoots for a takedown but doesn't get it. They trade leg kicks. A hard Stann leg kick is the best shot of the fight thus far. Santiago responds with a head kick. Stann drops Santiago with a left punch and opens up with big punches on the ground. Santiago recovers his senses but Stann keeps dropping down heavy punches. Santiago eats some more big punches before standing up at the close of the round. Arguable 10-8 because Stann was very close to finishing, but the rest of the round was competitive enough to make it 10-9 Stann.
Round 2. Santiago shoots for a takedown but Stann defends successfully. Stann lands a leg kick and then knocks down an off balance Santiago with a leg kick as Santiago moves in. Santiago shoots for another takedown attempt but Stann again protects against it. Stann lands a hard uppercut in the middle of a combination but Santiago stays up. Santiago then answers with a spinning backfist that connects very well on Stann. Stann uses a nice body punch/head punch combination. Santiago runs in with a knee but doesn't land it and falls down in the process. He gets right back up. Santiago hits Stann with a nice straight right punch. They both go for hooks. Stann connects and Santiago drops. Stann keeps throwing down heavy bombs until the referee stops the fight. Impressive win for Stann, who is gaining momentum and connecting with the crowd. UFC still might want to call an audible and go with Stann as the coach opposite Michael Bisping on the next season of the Ultimate Fighter rather than Jason Miller.
Winner: Brian Stann, TKO, round 2.
Thiago Alves vs. Rick Story
Alves is a former UFC welterweight title contender and considered one of the best fighters in his division. His muay thai is among the most feared at 170 pounds. Story is a tough rising fighter with a wrestling background and a five fight winning streak in the UFC.
Round 1. Story shoots for a takedown and gets it 30 seconds into the fight. Alves gets back up immediately. Story throws some knees to the legs, hips and behind of Alves. Alves takes Story down but Story scrambles out and they return to the standing position. Story maintains a close distance and again looks for a takedown. They clinch against the cage. They are separated. Back in the center, Story throws some punches, eats a knee to the body, and clinches again. Story opens up with a series of punches from close distance and again looks for a takedown. They exchange punches and Story lands a nice knee. Alves connects with a hard hook right on the jaw. Most of the fight was fought on Story's terms. Close round but Story very narrowly. 10-9 Story.
Round 2. They exchange to start the round and each man connects on the chin of the other. They are landing a lot more than in many of the previous fights this evening. Story looks for a takedown and gets it for a second but Alves returns immediately to his feet. Story eats a knee as he shoots in for a takedown. Story gets the takedown but Alves stands right back up. Alves then executes a trip takedown of his own. Story looks to sweep and then stands back up. Story keeps pushing for a takedown but doesn't come close. Alves lands a left/right punch combination. Story goes for a takedown. He takes him down but Alves gets right back up. Alves lands a head kick and leg kick at the close of the round. 10-9 Alves. Story kept going for takedowns but Alves actually spent more time on top and landed the better shots. Story's style is winning him no fans tonight.
Round 3. They exchange punches and Alves lands a hard knee and right punch. He follows with a big left hook. Story pushes him against the cage yet again without coming close to a takedown. They exchange punches with Alves again getting the better of it. Story moves in with a pair of punches that land. He pushes Alves against the cage and looks for a takedown. Alves defends. Alves lands a hard right hook but Story takes it with no problems. Story returns to pushing him against the cage. Alves brushes off a takedown attempt again. Alves connects with another hard hook. Story has a great chin. Story pushes Alves against the cage but doesn't come anywhere close to a takedown. Alves hammers Story with another big knee and Story goes for another desperation takedown. Alves brushes off another takedown and they exchange to end the fight. 10-9 Alves. 29-28 Alves. Based on 10 point must, I'm expecting Story to get the decision but Alves was the better fighter and did much more damage.
Winner: Rick Story, unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28). Crowd boos but it's a perfectly defensible decision based on the scoring system. Nobody's going to be hungry for Story in more high profile fights, however, if he plans to clinch his way to the title.
Stefan Struve vs. Travis Browne
Browne is a knockout puncher with an undefeated record. Struve has a well rounded mix of striking and submissions, and is unusually tall at 6'11".
Round 1. The height of these two is really striking after watching much smaller welterweights. Each man throws some wild kicks to start the fight and Struve pushes Browne against the cage. Nothing happens and they are separated. Browne moves in with big punches that send Struve flying across the cage. Struve shakes the cage bouncing against it. Nothing has connected flush, however. Browne keeps throwing big looping punches while Struve is using an array of strikes. Browne throws Struve to the ground halfway through the round. Struve scrambles up and looks for a D'Arce choke and then an anaconda unsuccessfully. Browne knocks Struve out with a huge superman punch. It makes for an impressive visual with the tall Struve tumbling down.
Winner: Travis Browne, KO, round 1.
Michael McDonald vs. Chris Cariaso
McDonald is the youngest fighter in the UFC and sports a 12-1 record with no unavenged losses. Cariaso won his UFC debut but is the biggest underdog on the UFC 130 card.
Round 1. As Cariaso goes for a head kick, McDonald answers with a straight right punch that knocks Cariaso down. The knockdown was partially because Cariaso was off balance but it connected well. Cariaso shoots for a takedown but McDonald does a great job defending it. McDonald has a huge size and reach advantage that he is utilizing in the standup. Cariaso goes for a takedown but it is easily defended. McDonald drops Cariaso with a right/left combination and moves into his guard on the ground. They stand back up an exchange wild punches that don't connect. Cariaso lands a punch combination that connects well on the chin of McDonald. At the end of the round, McDonald gets a takedown. Cariaso immediately looks for a heel hook and McDonald spins out as the horn sounds to signal the round is over. 10-9 McDonald.
Round 2. Cariaso starts by throwing kicks low and high. McDonald is more concentrated on punches although he is mixing it up as well. Cariaso has trouble maintaining his balance when he throws high kicks and McDonald consistently counters with straight punches down the middle. After a short stoppage for a low blow, they return to action. Cariaso ducks down for a takedown but McDonald defends and then looks to take Cariaso down. McDonald gets a beautiful, ultra-quick takedown with 25 seconds left in the round and ends up in side control, but Cariaso gets up as the round comes to an end. Very close round. 10-9 McDonald.
Round 3. Cariaso catches a McDonald leg kick, lands a counter punch, and takes McDonald down. McDonald looks to sweep but can't do it. Cariaso looks to pass guard but is unsuccessful. He drops down a few hard punches. Cariaso stands back up, avoiding a triangle choke attempt in the process. McDonald gets a takedown. Cariaso grabs an omoplata and looks to crank the middle of McDonald's arm with his legs. McDonald stands back up. They return to kickboxing, but neither man is able to land anything of note for the remainder of the fight. 10-9 Cariaso, 29-28 McDonald.
Winner: Michael McDonald, split decision (29-28, 27-30, 29-28). The 30-27 score for Cariaso was strange, but it was a close fight.
Cole Escovedo vs. Renan Barao
Escovedo is a 10 year veteran of the sport who recovered from a very severe staph infection that kept him out of action from 2006 to 2009. Barao is a 24-year-old top prospect who rides a 27 fight win streak into this contest.
Round 1. Barao charges forward across the Octagon with strikes that push Escovedo against the cage. He then scoops up and slams Escovedo to the mat. Escovedo ties up Barao with his guard and Barao stands back up. Barao lands a nice hook/leg kick combination and backs Escovedo into the cage with punches. Escovedo pulls guard and takes Barao back down. Neither man is able to accomplish much from the position and the referee stands them back up. On the feet, Escovedo connects with a head kick and a stiff straight punch that sends Barao backwards. Barao proceeds to take Escovedo back down. Escovedo looks for an armbar and then lands an upkick as the round comes to an end. 10-9 Barao.
Round 2. Escovedo connects with a big uppercut and knee on Barao, and Barao immediately takes Escovedo down. The knee was close to landing while Barao had a knee down, but it appeared the knee was not quite down. Barao stands back up and they return to their feet. On the feet, neither man is able to connect well. Barao lands a few leg kicks. Barao then takes Escovedo back down. Escovedo works a butterfly guard and then switches to full guard. Barao hasn't been able to solve Escovedo's guard, but Escovedo can't stop the takedowns. The referee stands the fight back up. Barao takes Escovedo down. Escovedo looks to sweep at the end of the round but time runs out. 10-9 Barao.
Round 3. Escovedo again is able to connect better on the feet and lands a nice knee, but Barao takes him right back down. They stand back up shortly thereafter. Escovedo lands a body kick and Barao answers with leg kicks and a nice spinning back fist that the crowd reacts big to. They open up in the middle stages of the round with aggressive punches and kicks, but each man does a strong job defensively in avoiding the hardest shots. Barao goes for a spinning back kick and running knee. Barao appears to slightly stun Escovedo with a straight right and he gets a big slam to take Escovedo down with a minute and a half left in the fight. Escovedo looks to trap the arm and apply a triangle choke but Barao avoids that and gets back up. Escovedo gets up and starts firing but he is taken back down two more time as the fight comes to an end. 10-9 Barao, 30-27 Barao.
Winner: Renan Barao, unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 29-28).
Photo: Quinton Jackson lands a knee to Matt Hamill during his unanimous decision victory on Saturday night during UFC 130 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena. Credit: Julie Jacobson / Associated Press