UFC 130: Power Ranking Each Matchup's Excitement Level

Jonathan R.R. ClarkeContributor IIIMay 25, 2011

UFC 130: Power Ranking Each Matchup's Excitement Level

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    The countdown, the wait, the anticipation for UFC 130 is almost over. The hype, the training, the blood, the sweat and the trash talking will all be tested this Saturday night. Can Rampage, coming off of his victory over Lyoto Machida, dispose of Hamill in front of the Vegas crowd? Can Edgar overwhelm Maynard to retain the Lightweight Championship? This is the power-ranking of UFC:130 - the matches that promise to be the most exciting, thrilling and outright thoroughly entertaining clashes on the night; and the matches that could turn into potential blowouts. Enjoy!

5. Frank Mir vs. Roy Nelson

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    If Nelson connects, Frank Mir is in trouble.

    If Mir gets it to the ground, Nelson is finished.

    If any of you have witnessed Roy Nelson fight, or deliver a right hand for that matter, you will be wise to overlook his over-sized gut and deceiving physique. This man is an animal. Never mind Roy 'Big Country' Nelson...i think Roy 'The Right Hand' Nelson is more applicable. Mir had better be careful when navigating the stand-up game, as he would be rolling a die or tossing a coin for the chance of winning or losing (but with his luck he might want that, right?)

    Anyway, I see this fight not living up to the hype quite so much...a boring, tactical stand off; Mir telegraphing Nelson's right and keeping his distance, taking Nelson down every-time he comes in close. Once on the ground there is a good chance that it will be good-night-Nelson, through a submission by Mir and his sublime jiu-jitsu skills. 

4. STEFAN STRUVE vs. TRAVIS BROWNE

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    Stefan Struve is taller than the Empire State...on stilts...sat at the summit of Everest.

    Travis Browne is undefeated in 11, drawing just once, winning 10-8 by knockout.

    I can see this one being quite entertaining to watch. I think Browne will win and the vision of Struve collapsing in from a body punch, and folding like a seven-foot pack of cards will be somewhat surreal and, in a respectful way, comical.

    Don't get me wrong, Struve's reach advantage is significant (five inches), but i see Browne getting inside and doing some damage to the Dutchman. There's been a lack of true quality in the opponents which Struve has faced thus far in his career, both big tests (against Dos Santos and Nelson) resulted in a loss for him. This one could be over by a stoppage or even KO to Browne. None the less though, it should be an entertaining, potentially blood-spewing clash.

3. Frankie Edgar vs. Gray Maynard III / Thiago Alves vs. Rick Story

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    I've put this third because the main events ALWAYS get so much hype that they are, 99 percent of the time, a let down. So to save a repeat of St-Pierre vs. Shields hype and speculation (we all know how that one went), this fight comes in second on the power ranking list for UFC: 130 Match Excitement Levels.

    This would have been the third clash between Maynard and Edgar, the two previous meetings resulting in a draw and a victory in favor of Maynard. With bragging rights over Edgar, all Maynard needs is the belt from his waist. 

    However, as the fight was cancelled, We are going to see Thiago Alves taking on Rick Story.

    The excitement level of this fight all depends on which Alves turns up. If it's the Alves prior to his 2009 loss to Georges St-Pierre, the seven-fight win streak fighter...Story is in big trouble. However, if a struggling-to-cut-weight Alves shows up...the fight could become a lot more interesting.

    Either way, i see this one being either an epic battle, or a quick finish in favor of a strong Alves...IF he shows up...

2. Quinton "Rampage" Jackson vs. Matt Hammill

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    And now, what i think will be an explosive encounter.

    Most people already know what Rampage is about. He is a brutal, explosive and merciless fighter who will jump at any opportunity to seize victory over his opponents.

    What most people won't be as aware of is the caliber of fighter that Matt Hamill is. He's beaten the likes of Keith Jardine and Tito Ortiz and, although his official record will say so, he has a victory over Jon Jones too (but Jones was DQ'd for downward elbows). Whether he can deal with the sheer ferocity of Rampage is another thing. I can see this being an unexpected determination battle between two warriors of the UFC. Overall i think this could be a feisty affair—don't blink.

1. BRIAN STANN vs. JORGE SANTIAGO

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    I've got a feeling this is going to be an explosive one.

    For those of you who still don't know what Jorge Santiago is about, just watch the video. So as Sean Salmon is still waking up, some four years later, Santiago is entering the Octagon with Brian Stann standing in his scope. However, coming straight off of a very impressive victory over Chris Leben, Stann is not one fighter Santiago will want to take lightly. I see this one being explosive—Santiago's sublime striking playing as the catalyst for most attacks and spectacular clashes. As much as i would love to give Stann a chance, I see Santiago's speed and ability simply outshining the former Marine.