In the main event at UFC 130, Quinton "Rampage" Jackson won a unanimous decision over Matt Hamill with a fight that showed off his defensive prowess and drew boos from the crowd at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas. After the fight, Jackson said he was fighting with an injured hand.
Jackson stuffed a takedown attempt early in the first round, setting the tone for the rest of the bout. Hamill used snapping leg kicks throughout the first round, as Jackson punished with strikes every time Hamill came in close. In the last 30 seconds of the round, Jackson teed off, pushing Hamill against the cage and landing a bevy of strikes. There wasn't enough time for Jackson to finish, but Hamill was definitely damaged from the late onslaught.
Hamill came out with an immediate head kick in the second, but Jackson easily answered with strikes. Jackson continued to methodically hold off every one of Hamill's attacks, landing knees and short jabs along the way. Hamill seemed frustrated with his lack of ability to take Jackson down or generate any offense. Again, in the last minute of the round, Jackson tagged Hamill with an uppercut and body shots, but again, it was too late.
The third round featured more counterfighting from Jackson, and more frustration from Hamill. Both fighters appeared to be tired as the round wore on, and neither were capable of throwing any big moves.
After the 30-27 on all three judges cards was announced, Jackson said that his hand was injured.
"I came into this fight with a fractured hand, and I apologize. I wasn't able to put on the fight I wanted to," Jackson said. A big smile appeared on his face as UFC commentator Joe Rogan pointed out that Jackson hadn't given up a takedown.
"I didn't get taken down? Good. Matt Hamill is tough."
With a win, Jackson was expected to get a title shot. His counterfighting style was enough to win the fight, but it was hardly an endorsement of what a great fighter Jackson is. Instead of the knockouts that Jackson is capable of delivering, this fight resembled Jackson's win over Keith Jardine, where Jackson won the bout with big flurries at the end.
Hamill was also expected to be in the running for the title shot with a win, but showed that he still isn't at the elite level of the stacked light-heavyweight division. He falls to 10-3, while Jackson's record improves to 32-8.
- Matt Hamill