When UFC 130: Ramage vs. Hamill was first announced, neither Quinton "Rampage" Jackson nor Mark "The Hammer" Hamill figured in the spotlight. Back then, the card was being billed as a trilogy-maker between UFC Lightweight Champion Frankie "The Answer" Edgar and Gray "The Bully" Maynard.
The pair of 155 pounders were coming off a brutal war of attrition at UFC 125 that saw the champ escape a savage assault in the first round by the skin of his consciousness. Then Edgar used his biggest asset—an unrelenting heart—to storm back and score enough points to force a draw that enabled him to retain his strap.
Previously, the Bully earned a unanimous decision over the sans-hardware Edgar at UFC Fight Night: Florian vs. Lauzon.
Needless to say, the third bout (and second rematch) was highly anticipated.
With Edgar-Maynard III as the crowning jewel, the UFC 130 slate was off the chain. The MGM Grand Garden Arena would've warmed up with Frank Mir vs. Roy "Big Country" Nelson, Rampage vs. Thiago Silva, Stefan "Skyscraper" Struve vs. Travis "Hapa" Browne, Rick "The Horror" Story vs. Thiago "Pitbull" Alves, Brian "All-American" Stann vs. Jorge "Sandman" Santiago, Miguel Torres and Kendall "Da Spyder" Grove.
Then, we would've been treated to a title bout in the main event.
Of course, we all know what happened twixt the noose and the neck—Frankie went down with a broken rib, then Gray suffered a knee injury and the main event had to be scrapped.
Making matters worse, that was just the start of the hiccups that would eventually derail Rampage's original opponent Thiago Silva (failed drug test), Norifumi "KID" Yamamoto (injury) and Cody "AK Kid" McKenzie amongst others.
So, no, UFC 130 isn't quite what it was meant to be.
Nevertheless, as my Bleacher Report colleague and roommate-for-the-weekend Joshua Carey pointed out, the card is still packed from top to bottom with gladiators who know the definition of the word "quit," but refuse to subscribe to the notion.
Put another way—the sizzle may be gone, but there's still plenty of steak to go around.
As always, B/R will be cageside bringing you live results and reactions from all the carnage. Check back at 6:45 PM ET/3:45 PM PT as the fur starts to fly.