UFC 130 is just around the corner and is set to take place without a big-name battle.
But even without the added hype of Frankie Edgar vs. Gray Maynard for the lightweight title, UFC 130 still has some battles left to be seen.
Quinton "Rampage" Jackson is getting close to having a shot at the light heavyweight title and could be set back with a loss to underdog, Matt Hamill.
Also, a battle between Frank Mir and Roy Nelson is set to take place that could help catapult either fighter further into the world heavyweight rankings.
UFC 130 also features top 10 middleweight, Jorge Santiago, who will be making his second stint in the UFC. Rick Story will be facing one of the top ranked welterweights in the world, Thiago Alves.
Spike TV Fights
Miguel Torres (39-3) vs. Brad Pickett (20-5)
Prediction: Miguel Torres
Kendall Grove (12-8, 1 NC) vs. Tim Boetsch (12-4)
Prediction: Kendall Grove
Renan Barao (25-1, 1 NC) vs. Cole Escovedo (17-6)
Prediction: Renan Barao
Michael McDonald (12-1) vs. Chris Cariaso (11-2)
Prediction: Michael McDonald
Gleison Tibau (22-7) vs. Rafaello Oliveira (14-3)
Prediction: Gleison Tibau
Brian Stann (-145, 10-3 MMA, 4-2 UFC)
Seven wins by knockout, two by decision, one by submission
One loss by decision, one by submission, one by knockout
Jorge Santiago (+115, 23-8 MMA, 1-2 UFC)
12 wins by submission, nine by knockout, two by decision
Five losses by knockout, three by decision
Breakdown: Again, we have two good fighters here with both being very adept at what they do. If Santiago takes this fight to the ground, you could see a nice finish in his return to the UFC. But, the longer this fight stays standing, the better chance Stann wins this one.
Prediction: Santiago by third-round submission
Thiago Alves (-210, 18-7 MMA, 10-4 UFC)
11 wins by knockout, six by decision, one by submission
Three losses by submission, three by decision, one by knockout
Rick Story (+165, 12-3 MMA, 5-1 UFC)
Six wins by decision, three by submission, three by knockout
Three losses by decision
Breakdown: I really don't feel there is any way that Story could come out with the win here, but crazier things have happened. Alves is a good fighter and is always at the top of the welterweight division. If the weight cut doesn't kill him and he actually makes weight, Alves should be able to land those heavy hands on the button.
Prediction: Alves by second-round TKO
Stefan Struve (+110, 21-4 MMA, 5-2 UFC)
14 wins by submission, five by knockout, one by disqualification, one by decision
Three losses by knockout, one by submission
Travis Browne (-140, 10-0-1 MMA, 1-0-1 UFC)
Eight wins by knockout, one by submission, one by decision
Breakdown: Not a big fan of this fight being on the main card when Miguel Torres is fighting on the undercard, but here it is. Struve has excellent ground skills and a big enough reach advantage that it will give Browne a tough fight. If Browne can close the gap and avoid this reach advantage, he should have a nice chance to knock out Struve. Unfortunately, I just can't see it happening.
Prediction: Struve by third-round submission
Frank Mir (-135, 14-5 MMA, 12-5 UFC)
Eight wins by submission, three by knockout, two by decision, one by disqualification
Five losses by knockout
Roy Nelson (+105, 15-5 MMA, 2-1 UFC)
Eight wins by knockout, four by submission, three by decision
Four losses by decision, one by knockout
Breakdown: Both fighters are very good on the ground, and both fighters are top 10 heavyweights. Whoever loses this fight has a very long way to get into title contention, but whoever wins, gets a few wins within title contention. Nelson has very good standup and either way should be able to control Mir.
Prediction: Nelson by unanimous decision
Light Heavyweight Bout
Quinton "Rampage" Jackson (-300, 31-8 MMA, 6-2 UFC)
14 wins by knockout, 10 by decision, seven by submission
Three losses by knockout, three by decision, one by submission, one by disqualification
Matt Hamill (+220, 10-2 MMA, 9-2 UFC)
Six wins by knockout, three by decision, one by disqualification
One loss by knockout, one by decision
Breakdown: As fight day approaches I'm beginning to want—and root for—Hamill to win this fight. Rampage has come out and talked about how much he would rather do Hollywood when the money just isn't good anymore and everything. He just isn't the same. But, if Rampage can tap into his old self and get back his striking, Hamill has an uphill battle. To me, Rampage is only a fight away from a title shot if he beats Hamill. I don't see how he loses this one but watch out for a very game Matt Hamill.
Prediction: Rampage by third-round TKO