UFC 130: 10 Thoughts Following Jackson vs. Hamill
When a much-anticipated main event like Edgar vs. Maynard 3 falls by the wayside, it's tough for an event to ever really live up to the expectations.
Still, UFC 130 featured big knockouts, rising contenders, and generally some very interesting performances.
Quinton Jackon didn't exactly set the cage on fire, but making up for his efforts were Brian Stann, Travis Browne, Gleison Tibau and others.
Aside from the performances themselves, UFC 130 will also provide a fairly large shakeup in the divisional rankings with top 10 ranked fighters like Jorge Santiago, Miguel Torres, and Thiago Alves all coming up short.
Here are the top thoughts and repercussions following UFC 130.
UFC Should Reconsider Jon Jones vs. Rashad Evans, Quinton Jackson a Bad Choice
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As I've said elsewhere, Quinton Jackson has shown little interest in fighting at the highest level, and even less interest in promoting those fights.
He had almost nothing interesting to say about Matt Hamill as an opponent, and despite Jon Jones polarizing personality, couldn't even come up with anything to say about the man aside from the obvious "he has my belt" reaction.
Considering his hand is hurt anyway, the UFC should sideline Rampage and pencil him in for a rematch against the winner of the fight between Forrest Griffin and Mauricio Rua. At least those fights might get Rampage a bit fired up.
As for the title shot, that should go to Rashad Evans, and if Phil Davis complains, you can give him Lyoto Machida.
Matt Hamill Was Always an Overrated Wrestler
Sorry if you bought into the hype, but Matt Hamill's wrestling was always vastly overrated.
His national title was in Division III and his gold medal came at the Deaflympics.
Hamill is a decent fighter, but he's a far cry from pay-per-view main event material.
Dana White Was Too Hard on Frank Mir
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Frank Mir fought a grueling bout against Roy Nelson and would have finished a fighter with a lesser chin.
The kind of wrestling match Mir engaged in would have tired out just about any heavyweight other than Cain Velasquez.
Does this fight put Mir into title contention? No, but it was still a decent win for Mir, despite the fact that he's no longer a top three guy at heavyweight.
Roy Nelson Needs to Drop the Gimmick, Get in Shape
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As Dana White rightly pointed out, the gimmick isn't funny anymore.
Now that the gimmick is over, Nelson is going to have to put on better performances than last week's just to keep his job.
A 230-pound Roy Nelson could be stronger, faster, and generally better. A 205-pound Roy Nelson would finally be on a level playing field in terms of lean body mass.
Roy Nelson has a choice to make between eating what he wants and giving himself a chance to keep his job in the UFC.
Travis Browne Is "In the Mix" in the UFC's Weakest Division
Somehow, Travis Browne is "in the mix" following a win over Stefan Struve.
To this point, Browne has done little to prove that he can compete at the highest level of MMA.
Still, for a guy who has only been fighting professionally since 2009, he's been doing remarkably well.
The UFC would be wise to give him a few more serviceable opponents who allow him to develop his skill before throwing him in with the top guys of the division.
Has Stefan Struve's Luck Run out
Stefan Struve has made a career out of coming back from the brink of defeat.
Still, he's been knocked senseless three times in the UFC and his complete lack of striking defense should be obvious to future opponents.
It appears like dark days are ahead for The Skyscraper unless he can make some serious defensive improvements.
Rick Story Is a Top Five Welterweight on Merit
A top five welterweight you ask?
A win over Thiago Alves puts Rick Story into an elite list.
Josh Koscheck and Matt Hughes tried to beat Alves but neither came even close to accomplishing the feat that Story pulled off at UFC 130.
Out of the other guys in the top 10, Story's wins over Johny Hendricks, Brian Foster, and Dustin Hazelett are just as impressive as any of the wins of other top 10 welterweights.
As of today, my top five welterweights are as follows:
1. Georges St-Pierre
2. Jon Fitch
3. Jake Shields
4. Rick Story
5. Josh Koscheck
Nobody else in the top 10 owns a victory over any of those guys, so until somebody beats them, this is where they stay.
Thiago Alves Needs to Get a New Cornerman, New Strategist
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Even though he lost, I still feel like Thiago Alves has all the skills required to beat Rick Story, but lacked the gameplan, tactics, and strategy.
Rick Story's gameplan should have been obvious, but instead of controlling the center of the cage, Thiago Alves seemed content to back up and circle into the cage where Story was able to impose his will on the fight.
When that mistake became obvious after one round, Alves's cornerman should have been able to correct the issue, or at least let Alves know that he was down on the scorecards.
After two rounds, Alves needed to go for broke, but although he tried to finish the fight, his expression before the decision made it clear that he though he'd clearly won two rounds, which was not the conclusion he should have come to had his cornerman done his job and let Alves know where he stood.
Alves blew this fight, and while his skills are still elite, his game planning and awareness of fight scoring need to be far better so that he doesn't lose these kinds of decisions again.
Stann Victories Mean USA Chants Continue
Whenever Brian Stann wins a fight, expect flag waving, USA chants, and references to the troops.
If Roy Nelson has the fat fighter thing going on, Brian Stann has the American hero thing going on in a big way.
This is great news for the UFC, because the U.S. Military is a great demographic that the UFC would love to capture.
It's bad for fans who admire and respect Brian Stann but are getting a bit tired of Mike Goldberg's repeatedly talking about courage, honor, and bravery, American heroism, etc.
As long as Stann keeps winning, the dead horse beatings will continue indefinitely.
Miguel Torres Needs to Make Serious Changes
Say what you want about the decision, Miguel Torres needs to make some serious changes if he's going to be consistently successful inside the UFC.
Fighters at bantamweight are simply much better now than they were three or four years ago.
Now, fighters are good enough to beat Torres on the feet or avoid his submissions on the ground.
Torres can't be content to fight off his back for three rounds, because he's going to wind up losing decisions.
Torres needs to be able to get dominant positions, hold them, and land damaging strikes.
Improved wrestling would help, but Torres may simply be too weak at 135 to stop takedowns.
He might need to consider adding some mass and competing at a higher weight class where he'd be stronger and less likely to get muscled by short and stocky wrestlers.