Matt Hamill pulled out a big win with a unanimous decision over former UFC champ Tito Ortiz. Hamill won 29-28, 29-28 and 30-27 on the judges' cards at UFC 121 in Anaheim on Saturday.
In the first round, Hamill was able to take Ortiz down briefly, but could not do anything on the ground. The stand-up part of the round was filled with high leg kicks from both fighters and Ortiz moving forward throughout the round. Though the stand-up battle was close, Ortiz suffered more damage, sustaining a large cut on the side of his head and a mouse underneath his eye.
Hamill was able to inflict more damage in the second round. After getting a takedown, Hamill punished Ortiz with elbows from the top. Ortiz tried to answer with a submission attempts, but Hamill just took advantage of him and threw more short elbows.
After slow stand-up in the third and final round, Hamill tried to return to the takedown, but Ortiz stuffed it the first time, but easily took Ortiz to the ground on the second attempt. Hamill used side control to wear down Ortiz and land big hammer fists on Ortiz's hard-to-miss head.
Hamill was emotional after the fight, thanking his old coach and saying that he was honored to even fight Ortiz. Ortiz was Hamill's coach on "The Ultimate Fighter," and Hamill used Ortiz's style to beat his old mentor. The ground and pound strategy worked well for Hamill, who has now won five fights in a row.
Ortiz's next steps are not clear, as he has not won a fight since he beat Ken Shamrock in 2006. The one-time dominant champ is on a bad losing streak, and missed his chance to right the ship with this bout.