UFC 130 Results: Rampage vs. Jon Jones and 10 Fights to Make After the PPV
Four years ago, Quinton “Rampage” Jackson was conceived as the most devastating fighter in the UFC’s light heavyweight division.
A vicious knockout artist, Jackson ended the legendary Chuck Liddell’s title reign with a thunderous left hook in the first round of their 2007 meeting.
He defended the belt in a slugfest against Dan Henderson before the tide changed at UFC 86 on July 5, 2008.
Jackson dropped a unanimous decision to Forrest Griffin, losing his coveted light heavyweight championship in the process.
Unlike other dominant champions of the past and present, Jackson never received a rematch.
He’s had to work his way back into contention and, following a dominant decision win over Matt Hamill at UFC 130, it appears he’s finally earned a shot at the gold once again.
In addition to Jackson’s title shot, here are some other pivotal matchups that should be made following UFC 130.
Demetrious Johnson vs. Brian Bowles/Takeya Mizugaki
In an exciting affair that saw both competitors scramble and reverse each other on the ground like two jack rabbits fighting over a carrot, Johnson earned a unanimous decision over former WEC champion Miguel Torres.
The victory ups Johnson’s record to 9-1, 4-0 in his last four fights and arguably one win away from a shot at the UFC bantamweight championship.
“Mighty Mouse” has now earned the right to fight for an opportunity to become the number one contender, so his next fight should be against a top-three opponent.
Former WEC champion Brian Bowles fits that category to a tee.
Bowles is perhaps the second-best fighter in the division and if he’s victorious against Takeya Mizugaki at UFC 132, the UFC should pair him up against Johnson in a contender fight that is bound to produce fireworks.
Brian Stann vs. Vitor Belfort/Yoshihiro Akiyama
Unbeaten in the 185 lbs. division, “All American” Brian Stann continued his explosive climb up the middleweight ladder with a destructive TKO finish over Sengoku champion Jorge Santiago.
It was a performance that earned Stann “Fight of the Night” honors and a $70,000 bonus.
A former Marine captain, Stann is a perfect ambassador for the UFC.
He’s absolutely ferocious inside the Octagon but outside of the cage he presents the professional image of a world class athlete and military veteran.
Stann would have been a perfect fit to coach opposite Michael Bisping on TUF 14 but due to timing issues the UFC went a different route with Jason “Mayhem” Miller.
Regardless, Stann will fight a top tier adversary in his next bout. The winner of the UFC 133 battle between Vitor Belfort and Yoshihiro Akiyama would be a logical next step for Stann.
You’re guaranteed an exciting matchup either way and a win for Stann would potentially earn him a middleweight title shot against Anderson Silva
or Yushin Okami.
Rick Story vs. Josh Koscheck
Throughout his entire UFC career, Thiago Alves has never been outclassed in the striking department until he was introduced to Rick Story’s boxing.
Story is known for his wrestling background and “farm boy strength” but few expected him to successfully stand and trade with Alves to the degree that he did.
It was a close fight but Story’s superb blend of boxing and wrestling led him to a unanimous decision victory over one of the sport’s best standup fighters.
UFC commentator Joe Rogan made note of the fact that Story has now arrived in the upper echelon of the division and will fight nothing but contenders from here on out.
Josh Koscheck would be an ideal matchup for the 26-year-old.
Koscheck is the sport’s biggest villain and is fresh off a one-sided loss to UFC welterweight champion Georges St. Pierre.
For Story to defeat Koscheck not only would it catapult him into a potential fight with St. Pierre but it would also bolster “The Horror’s” popularity to new heights.
Thiago Alves vs. Nate Diaz
Nate Diaz, much like his brother Nick, is the type of fighter that loves to stand in the center of the Octagon and just slug it out. He is the perfect opponent for Alves to fight on his road back to the upper tier of the division following his loss at UFC 130.
They are practically a match made in hell.
You can expect an incredibly insane standup war in this one, especially with both fighters coming off losses.
Travis Browne vs. Roy Nelson
A betting underdog, Travis Browne nearly knocked 6’11" Stefan Struve’s head into the stands with an unbelievable superman punch knockout in the first round of their UFC 130 bout. It’s a finish that will be shown in highlights for years to come.
Browne, now 11-0-1, is on the fast track to the top of the heavyweight division. He’s ready to be tested against better competition and “Big Country” Nelson fits the mold.
Nelson was dominated by Frank Mir in the co-main event of the evening but should still be recognized as one of the toughest heavyweights in the UFC.
Stefan Struve vs. Mirko "Cro Cop" Filipovic
Recently, UFC President Dana White announced that, despite consecutive knockout losses, PRIDE legend Mirko “Cro Cop” Filipovic still has one more fight in the organization.
That fight should be against the massively tall Struve. Both fighters were knocked out violently in their last bout so it makes perfect sense to pair them up against each other to determine who remains relevant and who falters out of the equation.
Gleison Tibau vs. Sean Sherk
Lightweight powerhouses Gleison Tibau and Sean Sherk were slated to meet nearly two years ago at UFC 104 but Sherk was forced out of the fight due to an injury.
Tibau racked up his second straight win with a rear naked choke victory over last-minute replacement Rafaello Oliveira in the UFC 130 prelims.
Prior to that, the bulky Brazilian edged out a decision over a highly respected Kurt Pellegrino at UFC 128 this past March.
The UFC should consider trying to set up the Tibau-Sherk matchup once more. Tibau seems to have improved a lot lately but he usually fails when up against top competition.
A victory over a former lightweight champion in Sherk would open a lot of eyes and prove that Tibau is evolving into a potential contender.
Frank Mir vs. Brendan Schaub/Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira
Make no mistake about it, Mir absolutely man handled Nelson in the UFC 130 co-main event. Many of Mir’s critics say that he is “overrated” and “washed up” but he certainly didn’t look it in this fight.
The former UFC heavyweight champion dominated “Big Country” on the feet and on the ground, which is ironic considering many gave Nelson the advantage in both areas prior to the fight. Mir’s Muay Thai looked much improved and his takedowns were relentless.
Despite the impressive win, Mir still needs one or two more victories before receiving another title opportunity.
His next opponent is likely going to be Brendan Schaub, a fighter who has respectfully called Mir out in the media before. Schaub is scheduled to fight Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira at UFC 134 in Brazil and is considered a heavy favorite to knock “Minotauro” into retirement.
Now if Nogueira beats Schaub, we may see a rematch that is three years in the making between Mir and Nogueira as well.
Matt Hamill vs. Thiago Silva
It was a tough night for Matt Hamill at UFC 130 and one that he certainly wants to put behind him. For 15 minutes, Hamill could not execute his game plan and bring Jackson to the mat.
Hamill’s takedown attempts were poorly executed and “Rampage” stuffed every single one of them whilst battering Hamill with powerful boxing in the process.
What’s funny is that Hamill wasn’t even supposed to fight Jackson in the first place. Thiago Silva was Jackson’s original opponent but when he was forced out of the fight due to a failed drug test, Hamill instantly stepped up to fight the former champion.
Perhaps Hamill should fight Silva to return the favor? It definitely would be an intriguing clash of styles between two excellent ground-and-pound specialists.
UFC Light Heavyweight Title: Jon Jones vs. Quinton Jackson
A hand injury sustained by Jackson before his fight with Hamill might cost him an immediate title shot against the relentless Jones.
Depending on the severity of the injury, Jackson will either fight Jones for the strap or stay on the shelf and watch with frustration as Rashad Evans, Phil Davis or Lyoto Machida takes his spot.
Hopefully the fight can happen and we will finally see “Rampage” competing for the light heavyweight title again.
The betting lines have already opened for this fight with Jones touted as a heavy favorite.