UFC 130 Main Card Preview
Before UFC 130 takes into action, check out Fighting Insider's main card preview.
Quinton ‘Rampage’ Jackson and Matt Hamill now takes the UFC 130 main event, with both Frankie Edgar and Gray Maynard injured. While this match-up seems likely to impact the pay-per-view buy rate, the odds remain the same for the other bouts in the card. So before UFC 130: Rampage vs Hamill kicks off later at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, here is Fighting Insider’s main card preview.
Brian Stann vs. Jorge Santiago
Both have considerably improved in their recent bouts, with Brian Stann’s drop to middleweight and a New Year’s Day knockout win over Chris Leben. Meanwhile, Jorge Santiago has reeled off a string of impressive wins against tough overseas competition since leaving the UFC in 2006. Both rely on standup to create opportunities and openings, and this is not likely to be a lay-and-pray-style bout. The latter may be a better and well-rounded kickboxer, but the former’s game has tightened up considerably since training with Greg Jackson. Brian Stann’s ability to get back to his feet can prevent Jorge Santiago from planting and punishing him on the mat.
Stefan Struve vs. Travis Browne
At 6-foot-7 and 250 pounds, Travis Browne is the small guy in this match against the 6-foot-11 — Stefan Struve. The latter shown exceptional resilience in his UFC career. Following a brutal promotional debut against Junior dos Santos at UFC 95, Stefan Struve has since rallied to go 4-1 at a young age of 23. Travis Browne, on the other hand, carries a 10-0-1 record. Technically, Stefan Struve is the sharper fighter, while his opponent’s size heats a somewhat bullying style. He is effective at landing punches down the middle and calm with opponents in his guard. A big portion of their bout depends on Travis Browne’s conditioning, and whether or not he can pressure his foe. If he can bang away and keep his opponent on the mat, he wins. In a stand-up bout, Travis Browne could get caught and taken out.
Rick Story vs. Thiago Alves
Hard-charging, Rick Story, matches up against talented striker, Thiago Alves. The latter’s physical gifts and ability to land bombs from any position makes him a must-watch attraction. Hence, Rick Story must negate his opponent’s solid takedown defense and take away his range and angles. He should use pressure, takedowns and constant exertion in grappling attacks to drain Thiago Alves. Thiago Alves has a big edge on the feet, while Rick Story in the clinches and on the mat. However, the latter’s durability and hard-charging pace should be just enough to put the former in a defensive stance. This should be an intensely contested match, with no true neutral combat range.
Frank Mir vs. Roy Nelson
While heavyweights are known more for big-time punching power and stunning knockouts, Frank Mir and Roy Nelson are well-rounded fighters. The latter has been on the shelf since his one-sided decision loss to Junior dos Santos at UFC 117. Meanwhile, Frank Mir is 3-2 since he submitted Brock Lesnar in February 2008. In a heavyweight match, the better wrestler has the obvious edge, particularly when he is the harder hitter with more proven cardio — which is Roy Nelson. However, Frank Mir’s submission game and guard could early pose problems, as he is great at exploiting small openings. That said, Roy Nelson will probably look to wear down his opponent on the feet and in the clinch.
Quinton ‘Rampage’ Jackson vs. Matt Hamill
A pair of strong light heavyweights will collide in the main event, as UFC veteran – Rampage Jackson – takes on Matt Hamill at UFC 130. The former light heavyweight champion is especially tough against foes who do not rely on smart game plans. That said, Matt Hamill will have to pick high-percentage spots to shoot for takedowns and refrain heavy exchanges on the feet. His wrestling skills are solid, but his stand-up hugely serves as a means for that wrestling to come into the equation. Rampage Jackson’s takedown defense and experience should prove enough to negate Matt Hamill’s submission skills. This is a competitive match that could very well swing on who gets a critical takedown.
Who’s your pick on Saturday’s nigh event? Let your bets be known at the comments.