UFC 130 Main Card: Results, Recap and Thoughts
Saturday night, from the MGM Grand in Las Vegas we got one of the least anticipated fight cards in quite some time. Personally, I felt that this card actually exceeded expectations. It still wasn’t great or memorable by any means, but it wasn’t something laughably bad like Couture/Coleman.
In the main event of the evening, Quinton Jackson showed just how far from contention Matt Hamill really is. Hamill posed very few questions to “Rampage” through the fight, and all were answered decisively. Essentially, Hamill was told that he could neither wrestle well enough nor strike well enough to be a top contender. While I remarked during the fight that Jackson would be much better if he came forward every once in a while, that’s simply something that’s not been his game in some time. His boxing is still sharp, his takedown defence is still stellar and he hasn’t lost his power, but without his aggression, Quinton is merely a good fighter at 205. Hamill survived to the end of this fight because he really put himself at no risk in this fight, but that’s not to say a more aggressive Jaclson wouldn’t have. Looking forward, I don’t think there are too many questions that Jon Jones would be able to defeat that incarnation of “Rampage” rather easily.
The co-main event was equally disappointing. The live crowd seemed to love watching Roy Nelson get kneed in the head, but we learned little, other than the fact that yes, Frank Mir‘s wrestling is bad, but he still is able to take down a fighter with the wrestling ability of a seven year-old girl. Nelson put on a downright awful performance, especially considering the fact he really did have the tools to win. Mir will likely be rewarded with a fight in a title eliminator bout, likely against the winner of Schaub/Nogueira, and perhaps yet another title shot will be in his future. As for Nelson, who knows? Dana White has been quite vocal about his displeasure with the big man, and while he certainly deserves to be in the UFC (contrary to what some seem to think), whether or not he sticks around at this point is anyone’s guess.
The most impressive performance on the Pay Per View card actually belonged to Brian Stann. It was no surprise that Stann managed to knock out notoriously chinny Jorge Santiago, but his striking looked better than ever in this fight. His combinations were crisp, and he seems to be constantly getting more technical in addition to his sizable power. I’m still not a huge fan of Stann and the military bit being played up at every possible moment, but it is impossible to deny his accomplishments and the fact that they put him firmly in the top 10 at Middleweight now. As for Santiago, his problem has, is and will always be his chin, but also how he reacts to getting hit. In this fight it was actually an equilibrium punch that felled him in the second round, but Santiago was out of the fight long before that. Jorge did everything he could to survive the onslaught brought upon him by Stann in the first round, but shifted into a defensive mode from that point on. After the beating he took in the first, he was also extremely slow and obviously fatigued in the second. Overall, Santiago showed that while he’s always had the talent, he’s simply not able to be an elite Middleweight, his chin and demeanor simply won’t allow it.
What Rick Story did was impressive, however anything but shocking. Thiago Alves has become decidedly less aggressive against wrestlers since his title shot against GSP – or since his drop in weight, some might say – and has now let himself be controlled by two wrestlers far inferior to the champion in Jon Fitch and Story. Don’t get me wrong, both Fitch and Story are great wrestlers, but neither is as explosive as St. Pierre, and Alves’ calling card used to be making plodding wrestlers pay for not being able to close the distance quickly (see: Hughes, Matt). Now, Alves lets opponents clinch with him without a struggle, and once there is unable to launch the myriad of offensive skills he possesses. For Story, this was obviously the biggest win in his career, and it obviously launches him into the upper echelon at 170, although I think he will struggle to rise up any further in the ranks until he sorts out his cardio issues and develops his offensive game more.
The quickest win of the night, and one of only 3 finishes on the card, belonged to Travis Browne as he almost turned Stefan Struve into a human hammock with how close he came to sending the Dutchman into the air. Struve looked like a bed sheet blowing in the wind as he crumpled to the mat from the perfectly timed Superman Punch. As beautiful as the knockout was, we really didn’t learn a great deal from this fight though. Browne is a 250lb man, chances are he hits hard, and surprise!! He does. Struve is 6’11” and still has not learned how to use his height or reach, and until he does, he will continue to get knocked out by large men who punch really, really hard.
Until then, if you want to discuss any of the fights from UFC 130, or their implications moving forward, head over to FightLockdown.com.
Full UFC 130 Results:
Quinton Jackson (32-8) def. Matt Hamill (10-3) via Unanimous Decision
Frank Mir (15-5) def. Roy Nelson (15-6) via Unanimous Decision
Travis Browne (11-0-1) def. Stefan Struve (21-5) via R1 KO (Superman Punch) – 4:11
Rick Story (13-3) def. Thiago Alves (18-8) via Unanimous Decision
Brian Stann (11-3) def. Jorge Santiago (23-9) via R2 TKO (Punches) – 4:29
Demetrious Johnson (9-1) def. Miguel Torres (39-4) via Unanimous Decision
Tim Boetsch (13-4) def. Kendall Grove (12-9) via Unanimous Decision
Gleison Tibau (23-7) def. Rafaello Oliveira (14-4) via R2 Submission (Rear-Naked Choke) – 3:28
Michael McDonald (13-1) def. Chris Cariaso (11-3) via Split Decision
Renan Barao (26-1) def. Cole Escovedo (17-7) via Unanimous Decision