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Rampage Jackson: UFC 130 Shocking Change

By Sean Farrell

It was recently reported that Quinton “Rampage” Jackson will be facing Matt Hamill at UFC 130 and was declined his grudge match with nemesis Rashad Evans, after Thiago Silva was forced to withdraw from his bout with “Rampage”.

Jackson, has recently caught some criticism for not accepting a proposed fight with UFC light heavyweight champion Mauricio “Shogun” Rua due to the short time to prepare, “Rampage” wrote on his Twitter that he was more than willing to face Evans even more so than his new opponent in Hamill stating “I’m not interested in Fighting Matt, I rather fight Rashad, I have un finished business with him.”

Thiago Silva was pulled from the fight earlier this week after one of his urine samples from his UFC 125 drug screen tested positive. The Brazilian Buzzsaw has claimed his second sample was tested negative, and his drug screen is still under investigation by the Nevada State Athletic Commission. The UFC decided to not walk on eggshells and re-schedule the bout while Silva sorts out the issue with the commission.

A former UFC light heavyweight champion, “Rampage” recently rebounded from a decision loss to Rashad Evans by split decision victory over fellow former champion Lyoto “The Dragon” Machida at UFC 123 in November of 2010. Since knocking out “the Axe Murderer” Wanderlei Silva at UFC 92 in 2008, Jackson has had inconsistent performances, and has only fought three times since. Usually a highlight reel fixture for MMA, Jackson has gone to decision in his last three bouts, defeating Machida and Keith Jardine, while falling to Evans. The Memphis native pledged prior to the Machida fight to rededicate himself to the sport of MMA, as he admittedly was distracted by his acting career leading up to his first bout with Evans.

As for Matt Hamill, he recently scored the biggest win of his career by defeating his coach from season 3 of the Ultimate Fighter UFC veteran and early face of the sport Tito Ortiz, via unanimous decision at UFC 121 last October. The heavy-handed wrestler has gone undefeated in his last five UFC appearances. Hamill’s only blemish is that one of those wins came via disqualification (illegal elbows) against Jon Jones in a fight that Hamill was without a doubt on his way to losing. UFC 130 takes place on May 28, 2011 from the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada. The event is scheduled to be headlined by UFC lightweight champion Frankie Edgar defending his title against the man he has never beaten (0-1-1) Gray Maynard.

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