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Rampage Jackson Vs Matt Hamill: UFC 130 – SHOWDOWN TONIGHT

By Siri Karri

And now RSR’s expert analysis gets to the main event. It’s the howling wrecking machine vs. the feel good story of the 205 lb. division. The superstar vs. the up and comer. The “Rampage” vs. The “Hammer”. Ladies and gentlemen: Quinton “Rampage” Jackson vs. Matt “The Hammer” Hamill.

What Rampage brings to the Table

Rampage is easily the hardest hitter the 205 lb. division has ever seen. This is over knockout artist Chuck Liddell and highlight reel wild man Shogun Rua. Simply put, whatever Rampage touches goes down and the vast majority stay down. Part of this is his superb technique on his boxing.

When he was received on Sports Science, an educational TV show, Rampage stated that he generated power on his punches “from his ass”. And he’s right.

Considering that one’s . . . “ass” muscle is the largest in the body (Rampage not excluded), Rampage utilizes power all the way from his feet in his hooks and uppercuts, resulting in him virtually dominating the highlight reel in every card he’s on. Couple this with phenomenal hand speed and you can see why even Rashad Evans, a feared knockout artist in his own right, spent the majority of the fight wrestling with Rampage rather than trading bombs with him.

While Rampage’s wrestling is inconsistent, it’s certainly a threat. Let’s not forget that while he did spend the majority of the Rashad Evans fight getting dry humped he ended up outwrestling Olympic wrestler Dan Henderson and out clinching/grappling Lyoto Machida. It’s certainly an underutilized part of his game, but it’s one that has serviced him well enough to rely on it primarily for defense while focusing on striking for his offense. And god forbid, should their come a fighter who can out-brawl Rampage, he can always take them to the ground.

His last fight against Lyoto Machida showed that Rampage was done taking fights lightly; he came in with a solid game plan and cut weight properly and as a result kept the pressure up long enough to take a decision victory against what many considered was a superior fighter.

Rampage is back.

What Matt Hamill brings to the Table

Matt Hamill is strong. I’m not talking about traditional, big muscled strength that oh so many light-heavyweights have. I’m talking ridiculous strength, rivaling and perhaps even surpassing Rampage.
Matt Hamill is a feel good story. A deaf child who had to deal with many social issues, he eventually found his love in wrestling and did his country proud in the Olympics. He compensates for his lack of natural athleticism with freakish work ethic which only compounds onto his already prodigious strength. Let me illustrate what I mean.

During his stint on the Ultimate Fighter, Matt Hamill was literally throwing around guys his size during practice. After when such practice, one of the fighters incredulously commented “I’ve never seen someone get so big on sandwiches and Pedialyte”. If you look at many of Hamill’s takedowns, it reminds you of a lion dragging a gazelle carcass. I vividly recall several occasions where Matt Hamill didn’t even really set up the takedown; he would simply grab the fighter and throw him or drag him to the ground with minimal effort. He’s that strong.

As Hamill’s striking has improved, it’s become clear that his natural strength translated to his fists. While Hamill’s punches are slow, sometimes even sloppy, he has what many fight analysts refer to as “heavy hands”. It means that the power comes naturally to him; whether it be how he shifts his weight or how he rotates his hips, Matt Hamill can be piss exhausted yet still produce concussive punches.

An example of this is the Tito Ortiz fight. Say what you want about Tito Ortiz and his declining fighting ability, but the dude is still tough as nails and a battle hardened veteran. Yet after only a few thudding shots from Hamill in the 1st round, Ortiz’s face looked as though it did after his knockout loss to Chuck Liddell; swellings galore.

I’m not a betting man, but I wouldn’t count out the deaf kid.

X –Factor

People don’t realize that Rampage’s knockouts have always come from counter shots. He caught Marvin Eastman as he attempted to deliver a close elbow, Chuck off a body shot, and Wanderlei off a flurry. On the other hand, people whom Rampage has had to actually chase down like Forrest Griffin or even the glass jawed Keith Jardine ended up surviving multiple knockdowns and surviving the fight. With Hamill plodding forward with his subpar footwork, that should play right into Rampage’s hands right?

Remember that no matter how much I or the UFC hype this fight, Rampage is taking a HUGE risk by fighting Matt Hamill; he doesn’t just need to win, he needs to win BIG. A decision or split decision victory would only win Hamill fans for his toughness while stunting Rampage’s title hunt. Therefore, there’s a good chance that if the action slows down, Rampage will be the one attempting to hunt Hamill down to end the fight in convincing fashion. This may allow Hamill to clinch and take the fight to the ground, where Rampage has shown very poor aptitude for fighting off his back.

All things considered however, Hamill will be the first to tire in a 3 round fight and even fighters as tough as “The Hammer” can only take so many shots from Rampage before their night ends early.
Rampage will take it by TKO, but it’ll wait for the later rounds.

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