Quinton "Rampage" Jackson admits that he doesn't get excited over much these days, and that includes fighting Matt Hamill.
Jackson was originally scheduled to fight Thiago Silva, but once Silva was pulled from the card due testing positive for a banned substance after UFC 125, Hamill was tapped to fight "Rampage."
"Thiago Silva is the type of guy I would love to fight because he has great stand up and he comes to fight most of the time, so I was looking forward to fighting a guy like that," Jackson said. "Matt Hamill wasn't on my radar at all. I wasn't excited at all. But then again, not a whole lot gets me excited."
Hamill (10-2) has won his last five fights in a row against the likes of Tito Ortiz, Keith Jardine, Jon Jones, Mark Munoz and Reese Andy. Of course, the Jones win came after "Bones" was disqualified for an illegal elbow, but a win is a win. He was originally supposed to fight Phil Davis at UFC 129, but Silva's suspension shuffled the deck.
Hamill said last month that he was going to break Jackson's will when they met on May 28.
"I know I'm going to break his will – I know I'm going to beat Rampage," Hamill said. "I've been training real hard and my conditioning and my skills and technique, striking and kicking are a lot better."
Not surprisingly, Jackson didn't think much of that comment.
"He's just got to jive himself up so he actually thinks he can stay with me. If you've seen my fights over history, I don't think my will gets broken too often for anybody to even say that," Jackson said. "Matt Hamill is a great wrestler and stuff like that, but I've got more experience than him and I've fought a lot tougher people than he's fought. He's got a while to go before he can say he can break anybody's will."
Whenever Jackson fights, there is concern over his weight cutting because he tends to gain a lot of weight between fights. But after news broke last week that Mike Dolce, Jackson's nutritionist, wasn't working with him for this camp, Jackson said he is lighter than usual at this point of his camp thanks to Julia Budd, Strikeforce women's fighter, who has been working as Jackson's replacement nutritionist while Dolce has been working with Thiago Alves for his UFC 130 fight in Florida.
"She's done a great job, so it hasn't affected me at all. I'm actually lighter than I was at the same time for my last camp, so I'm actually in better shape. I've been lifting weights with Coach Lance [Gibson] and Jules [Budd], and I'm actually stronger than I was for my last couple fights."
The spotlight is now squarely on Jackson, who headlines UFC 130 after Frankie Edgar and Gray Maynard pulled out of their title fight last week. The 31-8 Jackson has been here before -- six of his eight UFC fights have been main events -- so that too doesn't get him all that excited.
"I just know that I plan to go out there and be very aggressive and very exciting," Jackson said. "That's all I know."
Another shot at the UFC light heavyweight title might do the trick, though. If Jackson beats Hamill next week, and Davis beats Rashad Evans in August, Jackson could very well be the next man in line to fight the current champion, Jones.
UFC President Dana White (above) embarrassed after Gray Maynard beat Clay Guida by split decision to win a lightweight bout and the main event of the UFC card in Atlantic City.
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