Hamill had no answers for Quinton
Jackson stuffed a series of telegraphed takedown attempts and
punished Hamill with heavy power punches en route to a unanimous
decision in the UFC
130 headliner on Saturday at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las
Vegas. All three judges scored it 30-27 for Jackson, who has gone
the distance in each of his last four appearances. Fans greeted the
lack of a finish with howling boos.
“Matt Hamill is tough, man,” said Jackson, who improved to 7-2 in
the UFC. “I tried to knock him out. I came into this fight with a
fractured hand, and I apologize for not fighting the type of fight
I wanted to. I tried to knock him out.”
Not one of Hamill’s attempted takedowns succeeded, and reality was
quick to set in on the 34-year-old Loveland, Ohio, native.
Outgunned on the feet and unable to get the fight to the ground, he
was forced to absorb 15 minutes of punishment from the former UFC
light heavyweight champion. Outside of leg kicks, his offensive
attack was largely void of substance. Jackson matched his trademark
power shots to the head with digging blows to Hamill’s body.
“He’s a great fighter,” Jackson said. “He has good kicks. I just
wish I could have done my game plan a little more. On a scale of
one to 10, I’d give myself about a five.”
In the co-main event, former heavyweight champion Frank Mir
outworked and punished “The Ultimate Fighter” Season 10 winner
Nelson in a clear-cut and one-sided unanimous decision: 30-27,
30-27 and 30-26. The fight was never competitive.
Mir smashed Nelson with repeated knees from the clinch and
delivered a series of takedowns -- a magnificent first-round judo
throw included. Nelson had no answer for an opponent who had better
all-around skills and far superior conditioning. Mir took down the
exhausted Nelson three times in the third round, battering him with
powerful elbows from the top.
Still one of the heavyweight division’s most gifted competitors,
the 32-year-old Mir has posted back-to-back wins since his knockout
loss to Shane
Carwin at UFC 111 in March 2010.
“I pushed hard against a tough guy,” he said. “How many times did I
hit him in the face? My God, what’s in that guy’s chin?”
Mir has his eyes on a return to title contention.
“[What’s next for me is] to keep improving,” he said. “I should be
the titleholder here. It’s every fighter’s dream.”
The unbeaten Travis
Browne blasted the 6-foot-11 Stefan
Struve with a textbook Superman punch and finished the Dutchman
with a pair of hammerfists on the ground in their heavyweight
showcase. Browne ended Struve’s outing in decisive fashion 4:11
into the first round.
Browne File Photo
Browne remains undefeated.
The two men traded punches and kicks from the start before Browne
secured a takedown and went to work on the ground midway through
the first round. The long-limbed Struve twice threatened with
chokes, but the Hawaiian escaped and elected to return to a
standing position. Browne fired the Superman punch straight through
Struve’s parted hands and sent the towering heavyweight crashing to
the canvas. From there, the stoppage was inevitable.
“That’s what we do. We train to come in and [beat] somebody up,”
said Browne, now 2-0-1 inside the Octagon. “Yeah, [the knockout
was] pretty. It’s almost as pretty as my spandex, you know what I
The surging Rick Story
advanced his cause in the welterweight division, as he posted a
unanimous decision against former title contender Thiago
Alves. All three cageside judges scored it the same -- 29-28
for Story, who will carry a six-fight winning streak into his next
Story scored with takedowns and pressed the fight with Alves from
the clinch, as he backed the Brazilian striker into the cage and
invited combat in close quarters. The 25-year-old traded liberally
with Alves, one of the premier standup fighters at 170 pounds.
Story ate his share of punishment when there was distance between
the two welterweights, as Alves fired away with punches and knees,
many of which found their mark. Even so, Alves spent more of his
time trying to fend off the relentless Story, who stayed in his
face throughout the fight.
“I feel great. It was a great fight,” Story said. “Alves is tough.
He throws hard punches. Him knowing that I was a good wrestler, I
figured he would have [better takedown defense]. [Fighting top
contenders] is what I want. I want to prove that I belong up
Stann recorded the most significant victory of his career, as
he stopped former Sengoku Raiden
Championship titleholder Jorge
Santiago on second-round punches in a featured middleweight
battle. The end came 4:29 into round two.
Stann, now 5-2 in the UFC, set the table in the first round, when
he blasted Santiago with a left hook, pounced on the downed
Brazilian and rocked him with ground-and-pound. The 30-year-old
Mixed Martial Arts representative carried the momentum into
round two, where he kept up his assault with punches to the head
and brutal kicks to the leg and body.
A counter right hand to the temple dropped and dazed Santiago late
in the second. Smelling a finish, Stann followed up with five
unanswered punches, Santiago’s head bouncing off the canvas as he
went. Referee Herb Dean was
left no choice but to intervene.
“I’m ecstatic,” said Stann, a former Marine. “Jorge Santiago is a
true champion. It’s hard to transition right from Japan to over
here. He’s going to make a legit run at [the UFC] title. I’m so
grateful that he gave me the honor to fight him.”