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UFC 130 Aftermath: Worst Audition Ever

(Photo courtesy of Rampage’s victory reaction gif is now after the jump.)

When the anticipated rematch between Frankie Edgar and Gray Maynard was scrapped from this card, we were left with a few big names and a lot of hope. Despite a few stellar knockouts earlier in the evening, UFC 130 ended much like my date to see “No Strings Attached”: a lot of booing, a disappointing 15 minute fight, and I was out $50.

Every UFC card has to be about something, and with no gold up for grabs the storyline for this event became Quinton Jackson‘s climb back up to the top of the Light Heavyweight division. Dana White declared and Rogan and Goldberg echoed that an impressive, entertaining victory over Matt Hamill would land Rampage a title fight with champ Jon Jones. Rampage secured the win, but his shot at the belt is still up in the air.

(“Hold up…you mean ya’ll were watching that shit???”)

Coming off of a semi-contested and equally boring win over Lyoto Machida, Rampage’s performance last night was meant to be more than a notch in the win column. If all went according to plan, it would have provided the UFC with the type of highlight-reel footage Jackson hasn’t produced since his knock out victory over Wanderlei Silva in 2008 and had fans clamoring for a fight against Jon “Bones” Jones. But last night’s fight yielded few fireworks if any. Hamill’s mantra in the lead-up to the bout was that he would break Jackson’s will, but only a few minutes into the bout it was “The Hammer” who looked like he’d rather be anywhere than in that cage. Going 0-17 in his plodding, telegraphed takedown attempts, Hamill was unable to get the fight to the ground and understandably reluctant to stand and trade with Rampage. As for Jackson, he did deviate slightly from his hands-heavy style–incorporating knees, elbows, and even a few token kicks into his attack–but he didn’t initiate or go in for the kill against a clearly gun-shy Hamill. After the fight, Jackson put some of the blame on a fractured hand he injured back in December of last year. [Note to Quinton: we believe you and all, but you're not supposed to talk about that kind of stuff, bruh.] . Despite the lackluster performance, Dana White has stated that pending the positive outcome of tests on Rampage’s hand, he will likely be the first challenger to Jones’s belt.

If there were any questions about Frank Mir‘s place in the heavyweight division following his first-round loss to Shane Carwin and coma-inducing win over faded star Mirko Cro Cop, they remain completely unanswered. His one-sided victory over the obese Roy Nelson says less about his dedication to training than it does “Big Country’s” lack of it. The time has come to call the “Big Country” experiment a flop. The myth of his terrific cardio has been dispelled in consecutive losses to Dos Santos and Mir, where he served as a very exhausted, very durable durable punching bag for the full three rounds. The dude has a terrific chin—did he even blink when he ate those crushing elbows late in round three?–but the notion that he can walk into the Octagon with Cheeto fingers and compete with the top of the division is absurd. Fatigue reduced his vaunted ground game to rolling to his ample belly and working his way to his feet; it’s an impressive trick even without Frank Mir on top of him, but it’s not enough to compete at this level. Mir looked good taking Nelson down at will and landing some heavy shots, but it’s fair to say that “Big Country” was looking for the path of least resistance throughout the fight, even if it meant getting smashed in the face or tossed to the mat. Despite his lethargic performance, Nelson does possess power in his hands- Mir left the Octagon with a broken jaw and rib to accompany his win bonus.

As for the rest of the card, they did their part to entertain and it’s a shame that their work was soured by the last thirty minutes of cage-time. Brian Stann opened the night with big knockout over the returning Jorge Santiago in the “Fight of the Night”. UFC heavyweight Travis Browne secured his spot on a future ‘Ultimate Knockouts’ dvd by felling mighty oak Stefan Struve in spectacular fashion. Demetrius “Mighty Mouse” Johnson won a tough-to-call decision over Miguel Torres in a hyper-active fight contested largely on the ground. Top Welterweight Thiago Alves was given no room to work against Rick Story. Story kept constant pressure on Thiago, pressing him to the cage and working for takedowns. His decision victory marks his sixth straight win in the UFC. Tim Boetsch looked dominant in his first fight at Middleweight, rag-dolling Kendall Grove in a one-sided decision. This was Da Spyder’s second consecutive loss and his third in four outings. Late replacement Rafaello Oliveira was overpowered by Lightweight juggernaut Gleison Tibau. Tibau’s second round ground and pound forced Oliveira to surrender his back and tap out to a rear naked choke in the evening’s only submission.

Full results of the night (via:

UFC 130 Main Bouts (On Pay-Per-View):

-Quinton “Rampage” Jackson defeats Matt Hamill via unanimous decision (30-27 x3)

-Frank Mir defeats Roy Nelson by unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-26)

-Travis Browne defeats Stefan Struve via KO at 4:11 of the first round.

-Rick Story defeats Thiago Alves via unanimous decision (29-28 x3)

-Brian Stann defeats Jorge Santiago via TKO at 4:29 or round two.

UFC 130 Preliminary Bouts (On Spike TV):

-Demetrious Johnson defeats Miguel Torres via unanimous decision (29-28 x3)

-Tim Boetsch defeats Kendall Grove via unanimous decision (30-27 x3)

UFC 130 Preliminary Bouts (On Facebook):

-Gleison Tibau defeats Rafaello via submission (rear naked choke) at 3:28 of round two

-Michael McDonald defeats Chris Cariaso via split decision (27-30, 29-28, 29-28)

-Renan Barao defeats Cole Escovedo by unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 29-28)

Cagepotato Comments

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Shaky- May 31, 2011 at 3:17 am
I just wanted to say, Torres won that fight. He definitely won the first to rounds with damage, top control, sweeps and most of all his ability to control and constantly off-balance Johnson off his back. That is all.
twincest- May 30, 2011 at 10:03 pm
Having issues w. Dana is a given as a journalist covering the UFC. He's obviously going to steamroll anyone who doesn't play by his rules. But sniping about the sport takes you down a path to nowhere. Gotta be bigger than that. Gotta be bigger than Dana - difficult as that may seem.

The blog sites all have weaknesses and are all struggling to find their way still. This place lost a serious piece of what had become their trademark (snarky/funny spot on commentary) when Ben Fowlkes took a hike. Fowlkes had that angle down and now it just seems like they're trying too hard. Should take the opportunity to take stock of the strengths/weaknesses of the staff and situation and make a product that shows the best of your capabilities rather than more of the same only jaded and not as funny.

For what it's worth, I don't think I've read more than 3 Fowlkes columns since he went to the "other" site. I just really don't like their format. AOL turns everything to garbage.
Kuato- May 30, 2011 at 2:54 pm
It's too bad, but I think CP isn't going to get over their problems with Dana, whatever they were. As this site goes the way of bloodyelbow, I'll transition to a better, less jaded site for my comedic MMA blog needs.
smiledriver- May 30, 2011 at 11:02 am
I have mad love for Big Country, but he really needs to drop down to Medium Size Country. A busted rib and jaw on biggest douche nozzle in the sport are enough to leave the HW class remember you by. I`ll buy the first rice cake.
dranokills- May 30, 2011 at 12:18 am

Sun, 05/29/11 - 09:37
Hammill should be let go. That was pure shit and he’s retarded anyways.
he is deaf.
YOU are retarded.
twincest- May 29, 2011 at 10:20 pm
Who wrote this "article"? Why is there no attribution for this whiny rant?

Who is the broke ass no game old lady who needs to bitch about the $55 they'll never see again, who woulda preferred to spend that massive sum on an Adam Sandler movie and late night Denny's for two?

Is there some kinda "block" I can put on this contributor so I don't hafta waste another 55 seconds skimming indulgent crap like this again in the future?
Tai-Pan- May 29, 2011 at 3:27 pm
There was no bar in the bum fuck town I am currently in and the internet sucked which meant my stream was choppy at best.
Rampage would be a good test for Jones, for the reasons RwilsonR pointed out already.
Big Country's schtick was cool when he was knocking gatekeepers like Struve out, but he needs to stop training in his fucking basement and get his shit together.
Stann has two awesome KO's in a row, but Maia would submit his ass easily and a high caliber wrestler... you know who I'm talking about about... would beat him although I doubt finish the tough SOB. He has a good shot of getting slightly fast tracked for a title shot because of the whole "I'm an American Hero" bit. Which is cool I'm not hating, but I'm going to guess if the UFC sets him up with a decent ground guy he will be subbed pretty easily or lay prayed. Keep giving him guys who will stand with him and it will be fireworks.
ccman- May 29, 2011 at 3:17 pm
Page reeeaaaallllyyyy need to remember he can pick up guys and slam their asses. Him and nelson got ko ower-it is way bad. Chuck did the same. He forgot he had roots outside a right to the chin.
Struve is a cartoon of an mma fighter. 2 dimensions and a joke at the heart.
Torres got robbed. Way busier and gave up position looking to finish. Yet opens debate on takedown no damage vs avoid takedown\ position vs sub attempt failed on scorecards.
Stann has the heart and size to fight spider, skill set is the question.
LordCoSaX- May 29, 2011 at 2:52 pm
It was a good card. The Mir/Nelson and Rampage/Hammill fights were not boring to me. Well, the Rampage/Hamill fight did lack a little at times but overall it was an ok fight.
rngeorgeh- May 29, 2011 at 1:23 pm
Kick off is not the same as kick start; get your quotes right.
Buster Hyman- May 29, 2011 at 1:03 pm
rick story should have a threesome with jon fitch and jake shieldzzzz while GSP watches
RwilsonR- May 29, 2011 at 12:51 pm
RSparrow Says:
Sun, 05/29/11 - 11:36
Brian Stann will wear the belt one day, not sure if he keeps it for very long, but he will wear that bitch. Mark my words
I really hope you are right about that, but first a couple things have to happen. One, Anderson Silva needs to retire or vacate the belt for LHW. Two, Chael needs to be denied a license. Then I could see it happening.
RwilsonR- May 29, 2011 at 12:48 pm
I still think Rampage presents the biggest challenge to Jon Jones right now if his hand is healed up (other than Anderson Silva, but that's not going to happen). I obviously would put my money on Jones, but Rampage has fast hands, hits hard, and has a way of finding chins if they start mixing it up in mid-range. We haven't really seen Jones take one on the chin. Rampage might just do that, and we'll get to see how Jones reacts. He might do fine, and then rip Rampage off his feet and with his GNP, send him quickly back to acting. Or he might crumple. Either way, I think Rampage is a good test. Much better than Rashad would have been. Jones would easily outwrestle Rashad, and pretty much beat him everywhere else, too.
Get Off Me- May 29, 2011 at 12:00 pm
Torres vs. Johnson was absolutely disgusting.
Once again the BJJ fighter attempts several submission from his guard and receives zero credit.
It's a black eye to the sport when a takedown is given more points than a full mount and submission attempt.
I don't get how a wrestler in a BJJ fighters guard wins the rounds over and over, something needs to be done about this.
RSparrow- May 29, 2011 at 11:36 am
Brian Stann will wear the belt one day, not sure if he keeps it for very long, but he will wear that bitch. Mark my words
RSparrow- May 29, 2011 at 11:30 am
Great article. Couple points: Rampage could have finished that fight if he wanted to. Every single time he fights I know that he's just in it for the paycheck, absolutely zero risk-taking. Even though hillbilly fucks are routing for Nelson all over the place, the guy is a complete joke. Can't rely only on heavy hands at this stage of competition.. and when an opponent knows that you won't be throwing and knees or kicks, it makes you that much easier to counter. Hamill, you're done, Struve you're just a gatekeeper, Thiago, you lost that killer instinct we were all hoping you had, Rampage.. Jones has your number, and Arianny I want you to sit on my face.
edhedicus- May 29, 2011 at 11:17 am
@Donomite- good point. I was dissappointed when Rampage didnt take Hammil down, cold have easily rained down some serious GNP. Maybe in this age where the money is so big, there is more motivation just to win instead of going out and proving you are the toughest guy.
And Hamill was well on his way to being finished by Bones...
Bob Villa- May 29, 2011 at 10:55 am
knock* and deaf*. Edit button, you are missed.
Bob Villa- May 29, 2011 at 10:54 am
Rampage worked Hamill. Is it really his fault he couldn't KO Hamil with a broken hand? You sound like a TUF noob: "That dude totally sucks. He didn't knick that dead guy out. What a fag." Has Hamill ever been finished? Give ' page a break.
jgrant- May 29, 2011 at 10:53 am
Travis Browne isn't a UFC newcomer. Last night was his third UFC fight. Something that even Mike Goldberg had correctly stated.
danomite- May 29, 2011 at 10:35 am
why should 'counter-punchers' get a free pass for not being aggressive? it's both guys' responsibility to go out there and be aggressive regardless of what style of fighting they prefer. why is it the opponent's job to attack guys like rampage, machida, and anderson while they can just sit back and wait for openings? unless your opponent is literally running away from you, ala Kalib Starnes, then both guys should share the blame for boring fights.
O Chan- May 29, 2011 at 10:33 am
I actually want to see Rampage get a title shot. The thought of Rashad Evans curling up in a fetal position when he hears the news break is more than worth it.
CoreyO- May 29, 2011 at 10:32 am
Travis Browne didn't "kick off his Zuffa career" last night. He was 1-0-1 in the UFC coming into the Struve fight.
Remember, you pissed off Chieck Kongo for saying he was a dirty fighter in his fight with Browne...
mattyr31- May 29, 2011 at 10:19 am
People need to ease up on rampage... As soon as Hammil realized he couldn't take rampage down he turned into a shell and focused on avoiding getting knocked out instead of winning
edhedicus- May 29, 2011 at 10:12 am
It is tough for a guy like Rampage, a counter puncher, to knock someone out if they wont come into the pocket and engage. The 12 foot take down attempts were sad, and if that fight was boring the blame lies solely with 'da hamma'.
And Mir will never have the cardio that Lesnar has, and possibly even Carwin. He has been built like that for about 20 minutes, as opposed to his entire adult life, so his heart simply cannot pump blood as efficiently to his body. Mir can beat up the fat kid, like most bullies, but he will never beat the real big guys in te HW div. Make Nelson cut to LHW, put him in with Jones....