UFC 130 Results: The Real Winners and Losers
UFC 130: Rampage vs. Hamill is in the books and the results are in. Though it was one of the least anticipated UFC cards in recent memory, there were still quite a few highlights and some major questions were answered in just about every division.
Quinton Jackson edged out Matt Hamill in the main event and Roy Nelson fell short in defeating Frank Mir, but the results don’t always tell the whole story. Sometimes there’s more that goes into it than that.
So let’s take a closer look at who the real winners and losers were from Saturday night’s pay-per-view.
Winner: Tim Boetsch
Winner of five of his last six fights, Tim Boetsch completely owned Kendall Grove in an important fight for both men. Though Boetsch was on this win streak, his UFC record was only 3-3 coming into tonight’s fight.
Boetsch was making his debut for the UFC in the 185-pound division after getting submitted by Phil Davis at 205. He looked really good at the weight and may be someone to watch over the next year.
Loser: Kendall Grove
It’s over for Kendall Grove in the UFC, as far as I’m concerned.
I don’t think anyone can doubt that Kendall Grove has the physical talent to be a major player in the world of mixed martial arts, but disappointing performance after disappointing performance have to be discouraging for the former The Ultimate Fighter winner.
Grove has lost four of his last six fights in the UFC, with one of the wins only coming by way of split decision. Given the UFC’s insistence on getting rid of disappointing fighters who are on losing streaks, Grove has to be on the chopping block after this performance. If he makes it past the week, I’d be very surprised.
Winner: Demetrious Johnson
If this fight doesn’t prove that wrestling is the dominant discipline in mixed martial arts, I don’t know what will.
But despite most experts agreeing that this was a bad decision that completely robbed Miguel Torres, Demetrious Johnson walked away with what is easily the biggest win of his career. This is even bigger considering the huge victory he had against “Kid” Yamamoto at UFC 126.
The next step may be a title shot for “Mighty Mouse.”
Loser: Miguel Torres
An effective guard in MMA may never again be scored correctly.
Miguel Torres put on a clinic with his unbelievable sweeps in this fight and landed many, many shots from the bottom, but fell victim to a unanimous decision loss. How unfortunate for jiu-jitsu fans and people who were hoping to see another run at the title for Torres.
This isn’t the end for Torres by any means, but it has to be disappointing that his style just isn’t getting scored the way that he would hope for.
Winner: Brian Stann
An awesome Memorial Day weekend performance from Brian Stann may have pushed him into future title shot consideration. The former Marine repeatedly clipped Jorge Santiago in the first and second round of their fight before knocking him out late in the second.
Stann recently moved to Greg Jackson’s camp and looked excellent in this fight.
As always, his post-fight interview was awesome and he thanked both his opponent as well as what he calls the true heroes, the members of the military whom we have lost.
Loser: Jorge Santiago
Despite dominating the competition outside the UFC, Jorge Santiago has now fallen to 1-3 in the Octagon. He was so good, in fact, that many people were hyping Santiago as a top-10 middleweight coming into this fight against Brian Stann.
Unfortunately, Santiago’s biggest weakness was shown again as he was smacked around by Brian Stann on the feet and on the ground. Santiago did land some shots of his own, including a beautiful spinning backfist that seemed to stun Stann, but it wasn’t long after that shot that Santiago was laying on his back, looking up at the lights.
Winner: Rick Story
In a fight card where he was considered one of the biggest underdogs, Rick Story shocked many experts with his fairly dominating win over a consensus top five welterweight in Thiago Alves.
Unknown to many fans, Story made a big name for himself by using his awesome wrestling technique and strength to hold push Alves against the fence. He implemented a very similar technique to the one used by the last two fighters who defeated Alves, Jon Fitch and Georges St-Pierre.
One thing that Story was able to do that St-Pierre and Fitch didn’t seem to have any desire to do was stand with the Muay Thai expert, who has knocked out many of his opponents in the past. Story showed off an unbelievable chin, taking as much damage or more than he gave out in the feet.
Story is still a couple fights away from being in title contention, but this was a huge fight for him and could very well put him in the top-10 in the division.
Loser: Thiago Alves
Former UFC welterweight No. 1 contender, Thiago Alves, was exposed again as a fighter who struggles against top wrestlers.
Yes, he has destroyed Josh Koscheck and Matt Hughes in the past, but Alves has had a lot of trouble stopping fighters from taking him down, namely Jon Fitch, Georges St-Pierre and now Rick Story.
The difference is that while losses to GSP and Fitch are largely forgiven due to them being the top two fighters in the division, a loss to Rick Story won’t be so easily forgotten by the decision-makers in the UFC.
Alves isn’t in danger of being cut, but he’s going to have a long road back to climbing into the title conversation.
Winner: Travis Browne
The previously undefeated Travis Browne came into this UFC 130 fight against Stefan Struve where many expected him to taste loss for the first time.
Early in the round, Browne looked like he was having a tough time getting in on the giant monster across the cage from him, but it only takes one punch to end some fights. In this case, Browne landed a violent superman punch that completely leveled Struve.
Sure, he still has a lot of work to do to become a champion, but Browne continues to surprise the doubters.
Loser: Stefan Struve
The 23-year-old giant from the Netherlands was knocked out for the third time in his UFC career. While the losses have come against very good competition before this in Roy Nelson and Junior dos Santos, Travis Browne is not quite on that level yet.
Struve has enough of a winning record and he’s not in any danger of getting cut, but this was definitely a tough loss. It seems like fighters keep using Struve as a leaping point into the top-10 in the heavyweight division.
Loser: Roy Nelson
What the hell, Roy?
Normally “Big Country” is known for his surprisingly strong cardio despite looking like a hillbilly trucker on a McDonalds-only diet. But tonight, his cardio matched his body shape.
Not only that, but it looked like Nelson didn’t even have a gameplan for this fight other than to come in there and try to throw the occasional big right hand and look for a flash knockout. How could that be the only idea he had?
Maybe he was afraid Mir was going to take him down, but that happened anyway.
Awful, awful performance.
Winner: Frank Mir
Honestly, I hesitated putting Frank Mir on this list as a “winner.”
Look, I understand that Frank Mir won this fight and he dominated every aspect of it against a guy who was borderline top-10 coming into the fight.
But the fact that Mir couldn’t finish Roy Nelson, who was nearly dead in the cage in the second round, was rather discouraging. Don’t get me wrong, “Big Country” is extremely difficult to stop, but he was completely out of energy.
This fight does put Mir back in title contention with maybe one more win, but still, it was disappointing.
Push for the finish, Frank.
Loser: Matt Hamill
Matt Hamill got more than he could have ever wanted when he was given a pay-per-view main event fight against the main he called out, Quinton “Rampage” Jackson.
Including his “win” over Jon Jones in December 2009, Hamill had been on a five-fight win streak over quality competition in the UFC. But aside from the disqualification victory over Jones, he hadn’t defeated a top-10 opponent yet in his MMA career. Of course, Rampage Jackson would’ve given him that huge victory.
Unfortunately, he completely fell apart in the fight. His very high 72-percent takedown success rate was useless against Jackson who seemed to see everything coming with ease. He had no problem stopping each and every one of Hamill’s takedowns, which made for an impossible fight for Hamill.
Winner and Loser: Quinton “Rampage” Jackson
Like Frank Mir, Quinton Jackson’s win was obvious and dominating, but the lack of a finish really put a downer on what was otherwise a pretty good performance for “Rampage.”
As a former UFC Light Heavyweight Champion, fans have just come to expect more than what we have been given in this and his last few fights as a whole. Ever since he fought and lost to Rashad Evans at UFC 114, Jackson just hasn’t looked like quite the same fighter. The fire just doesn’t seem to be there.
All we want is another knockout, but we haven’t seen one from Rampage since 2008. If we would’ve seen one in this fight, the UFC really could have made the case that Jackson deserves a shot at Jon Jones.
But now? Who knows?
Winner: Jon Jones
Though he didn’t even fight at UFC 130, Jon Jones is a “winner” in this event due to the fact that he now likely doesn’t have to fight Rampage Jackson for quite some time.
It’s not even that Jackson is a huge threat to Jones’ title at this point, but this might have saved Jones’ opportunity to fight either Lyoto Machida or Rashad Evans in his next fight. Both of whom would make for a much more compelling story and a much easier fight to sell for the UFC.
For now, the UFC 205-pound champion’s next fight is undecided, but it’s hard to imagine that it’ll end up being Jackson after his disappointing performance in the main event of UFC 130.
Loser: The UFC
Though the event was probably better than what many fans thought it would be, this will still very likely go down as one of the lowest-purchased events in recent history. After coming off the huge success of UFC 129, UFC 130 just failed to keep the ball rolling for the world’s biggest mixed martial arts company.
This won’t be the end of the company by any means, but they will need to bounce back with a big effort at UFC 131 to make up for the lack of success at UFC 130.