The UFC returns to its home in Las Vegas, Nevada this Saturday as UFC 130: Rampage vs. Hamill comes to you live from inside the MGM Grand Garden Arena. After the success of showing every single fight from UFC 129, this card’s prelims will also be shown on Spike TV and Facebook. We brought you the Prelim Breakdown last week and this week we will break down the Main Card PPV bouts.
The opening bout of the PPV broadcast will feature “All-American” Brian Stann (10-3) and the UFC return of Jorge Santiago (23-8). In Stann’s last outing, he put on an impressive performance and became the second man to defeat Chris Leben via knockout. Since his departure from the UFC, Santiago has won eleven of his last twelve fights, with only one fight reaching the judges’ scorecards. With both men being great strikers, the ground game may become the difference maker, and Santiago’s BJJ Black Belt definitely gives him the advantage on the ground.
The second bout of the evening puts together Heavyweights Stefan “Skyscraper” Struve (21-4) and undefeated Travis “Hapa” Browne (10-0-1). Although he hasn’t show it much recently, Struve’s ground game is pretty good and has helped him pick up the majority of his wins (14) by way of submission. Browne, who has also never really showed his ground game, is coming off a fight in which he was out-muscled by Cheick Kongo. Struve, as usual, will enjoy a decent reach advantage and should look to use his reach to keep Browne on the outside and prevent him from getting comfortable and throw those heavy hands that have earned him eight knockouts.
Alves vs. Story could be Fight of the Night
The next bout pits together Welterweights Thiago “Pitbull” Alves (18-7) and Rick “The Horror” Story (12-3). After not making weight for the second time, Alves was given one last shot at Welterweight and made the most of it in defeating John Howard by way of a dominant Unanimous Decision. Story dropped a decision to John Hathaway in his UFC debut two years ago and has not looked back since, having won his last five fights. After his defeat of Johny Hendricks, Story began campaigning for a fight with Alves and now he has got his wish. Alves has had problems with wrestlers in the past, and will have to do everything in his power to keep the fight standing and look to finish Story for the first time in his career.
The Co-Main Event of the evening features local Heavyweights Frank Mir (14-5) and Roy “Big Country” Nelson (15-4). Mir and Nelson are no strangers to each other having met at a Grapplers Quest event some years ago, in which Nelson was victorious by points. With both being former champions (Mir- UFC, Nelson- IFL), they are also no stranger to the spotlight that comes with the territory. Nelson recently stated that with Brock Lesnar’s temporary departure from the division, the door has opened for the winner of this fight to get right back in the title mix. Both men are BJJ Black Belts and have good striking. Like Nelson also stated, the winner of this fight may end up being decided by “the guy who punches the other guy in the face more.”
The Main Event of the evening is a Light Heavyweight battle between heavy-handed Quinton “Rampage” Jackson (31-8) and D-III National Champion wrestler Matt “The Hammer” Hamill (10-2). When Main Event fighters Frankie Edgar and Gray Maynard were both forced to withdraw from their fight due to injury, Jackson/Hamill was immediately moved from the Co-Main Event to the Main Event. Since then, many people have voiced their displeasure in the strength of the card. Jackson vs. Hamill falls into the time-tested category of “Striker vs. Grappler”. As we saw with the Rashad Evans fight, Rampage can be taken down and grinded out to a decision, which will more than likely be Hamill’s gameplan. Rampage has heavy hands that can put just about anybody to sleep if they touch you.
Don’t miss UFC 130 this Saturday starting with three fights on Facebook, moving over to spike Tv for two more fights and finally the above mentioned PPV. Make sure to leave your predictions here for a chance to win a shirt and also stop by the Fight Night chatroom during the Spike TV and PPV to talk about the night action.
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