Las Vegas - UFC 130 was a card that seemed fairly weak after the news hit that Edgar vs. Maynard III was canceled. All eyes turned to Quinton "Rampage" Jackson to carry the load and make it an exciting night. The bad news... he was going to fight Matt Hamill, not exactly a hype machine. Sometimes these less-hyped PPV's end up over-delivering and resulting in outstanding fights. In the case of 130, it had its share of ups and downs. Let's take a look at what's next for some of the fighters on the card...
Rampage Jackson vs. Matt Hamill
What Went Down: After the first round finished it was very clear who the more dominant fighter was. Quinton Jackson had his way with Matt Hamill, easily stuffing all 16 of his take-down attempts and controlling the fight on his feet. He hunted for a KO, which he so desperately wanted to deliver for the fans, but unfortunately "The Hammer" played it safe all night. Hamill stuck to a strict game plan that mostly kept himself at a sizeable distance from his very dangerous foe. Rampage did the best he could with the opponent the UFC gave him, and rolled easily to a UD victory (30-27 on all judges scorecards). After the bout, it was later announced Jackson was fighting with a fractured hand, making this win all that more impressive.
What's Next For Jackson: At the post-fight presser, Dana White announced who Rampage's next fight will be against. If his hand heals, he will end up facing the UFC Light Heavyweight Champ Jon "Bones" Jones. Jackson has always felt he let his belt slip away to Forrest Griffin, so this is his opportunity to redeem himself.
What's Next For Hamill: Matt Hamill is an extremely likeable fighter and has a very inspirational story, but he had no place in a PPV headline bout with Jackson. Rampage had just defeated a former champion (Lyoto Machida) and Hamill last faced Tito Ortiz, who hasn't earned a victory since 2006. A match-up with Brandon Vera might suit him well.
Frank Mir vs. Roy Nelson
What Went Down: Frank Mir ended up cruising to a unanimous decision over Roy "Big Country" Nelson. The fight wasn't the slug-fest the fans were hoping for, but more of a grappling contest that lasted three rounds. Mir took Nelson down almost at will throughout the bout and
What's Next For Mir: Mir ended up paying a price for his win over Nelson: the fight earned him a trip to the hospital after suffering a broken jaw and rib. When he's back to 100% a fight with the winner of Schaub vs. Nogueira sounds good. A match-up with Junior dos Santos (after he fights Carwin) would also be very interesting.
What's Next For Nelson: Big Country has been a fan favorite since his stint on TUF. I for one was hoping that he was going to bring the fight to Mir, instead the opposite happened. He is a fighter with some heavy hands and excellent grappling skills, but always struggles against top-level fighters in his division. Dana White doesn't seem amused by Nelson's goofy attitude and would probably like to see him in better shape if he wants to continue his career in the UFC. So what's next for Nelson? I could see him fighting the winner of Matt Mitrione vs. Christian Morecraft or maybe Barry vs. Kongo.
Travis Brown vs. Stefan Struve
What Went Down: At 4:11 in the first round Brown leapt toward the 6'11" Struve and crushed his face with a brutal superman punch earning him KO of the night!
What's Next For Brown: After earning an impressive KO like the one Brown pulled off at UFC 130, he is now on a lot of fans' radars. It makes sense for Brown to be matched up with the winner of Dave Herman vs. Jon Olav Einemo. Mike Russow sounds appealing as well.
What's Next For Struve: It so often seems like this kid is on the up and up, then he somehow always gets stopped in his tracks. Fortunately he is still very young and has much to still learn so you can't count him out. He will once again have to reevaluate his approach to the fight game, but we will be seeing more of the Skyscraper. Most likely he will face a fighter on the lower spectrum of the division such as the loser of Mitrione vs. Morecraft or Herman vs. Jon Olav Einemo.
Thiago Alves vs. Rick Story
What Went Down: Rick Story earned a huge UD win over a very tough and dangerous opponent. Alves got his shots in, but once-again was handled by a superior wrestler.
What Next For Story: After earning a big victory over Alves, Story called out Jon Fitch and I'm all for it. Dana White, let's make it happen! If he doesn't get Fitch, a match-up with Josh Koshcheck would be great.
What's Next For Alves: The Pitbull has now dropped three out of four, so this really drops his stock in the WW division. I'm thinking either Dan Hardy or Chris Lytle makes sense at this point.
Story courtesy of CSNWashington.com.
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