The main event between Matt Hamill and Quinton “Rampage” Jackson was a bit of a letdown for some fans after the third fight in the Frankie Edgar vs. Gray Maynard trilogy was canceled due to injury.
But the UFC 130 fight still featured a fan favorite in Rampage and whenever he fights many eyes are glued to the pay-per-view TV screens because a knockout could come at any moment.
Rampage checked a leg kick and stuffed a takedown in the first round. The two light heavyweights squared off again in the center of the Octagon.
They both felt each other out for a while as fans waited with bated breath in Las Vegas from that point forward. Rampage said he wanted a knockout and Hamill went for one of his own with a wild high kick that missed.
A hard counter a bit later landed for Rampage as the two went back into their stances and Rampage landed another right counter.
Hamill landed a fairly light leg kick at around the 2:40 mark of the first round as well. Another landed shortly after that. Hamill said his wrestling would be a key factor but Rampage stuffed all of his takedown attempts early in the first and continued throughout the round. Counter-knees were somewhat effective at times as well.
The second round began in similar fashion as Hamill missed a head kick and Rampage’s counter right landed again.
A takedown again did not come close leading many to start believing that the UFC 130 results winner would be Jackson by night’s end. A left landed by Hamill out of the clinch broke up some momentum finally for “The Hammer.”
Rampage began teeing off with a flurry after that and pushed Hamill against the cage, however.
Another big counter left around the two-minute mark was also a sign of Rampage’s dominance and Hamill began to look unfocused and tired as well. Even a well-timed slip of a punch could not lead to a takedown for Hamill.
Rampage had said he had fought many better wrestlers before.
A bit later he staggered Hamill again as he looked to cement a big UFC 130 win and a title shot according to Dana White, the UFC president.
Quinton definitely won the first two rounds with ease and the fight was his to lose entering the third and final round in the main event of the evening. Hamill needed to pull out something big in order to achieve a positive result and he knew it.
More heavy-handed counter-strikes and an unsure Hamill marked the third round as Jackson continued to win. He dropped down and got behind Hamill for a possible takedown but wasn’t able to secure it.
Time began to run out with 1:20 left in the main event at that point as the two men sized each other up yet again.
A clinch game and some knees from Rampage showed how far he has come since his PRIDE Fighting days as well when he was on the other end of Shogun Rua’s knees.
With 45 seconds to go, Rampage again clinched up. Hamill pushed him near the fence after that but wasn’t able to get free for any sort of shot. Rampage tried a flying superman punch/elbow combination that was unnecessary and pursued for a possible knockout later as well, showing his willingness to put on a show.
He ended a bit short of his goal of a knockout but secured a positive UFC 130 result that will likely earn him a title shot after the main event in Las Vegas.
Jackson won an easy unanimous decision victory and now it could be time for bigger and better things yet again for the UFC superstar.