Published Saturday, May 28, 2011 | 6:22 p.m.
Updated Saturday, May 28, 2011 | 8:39 p.m.
Frank Mir UFC 130 final presser
Roy Nelson UFC 130 final presser
Don't write off all the MMA veterans just yet.
In a year that has seen upcoming newer stars prevail over the most experienced fighters on numerous occasions — Jon Jones over Shogun Rua, Phil Davis over Antonio Rogerio Nogueira and Lyoto Machida over Randy Couture to name a few — two familiar headliners capped off UFC 130 at MGM Grand Garden Arena with victories.
They were both equally as dominant. Rampage Jackson defeated Matt Hamill via unanimous decision in the light heavyweight main event by scores of 30-27, 30-27 and 30-27. In more thrilling fashion, Frank Mir beat Roy Nelson by the same method in their heavyweight scrap. Two judges saw it 30-27 for Mir, while the third gave him a 30-26 win.
Mir and Nelson engaged in the most entertaining battle of the night. No matter how much Mir did to beat up Nelson, "Big Country" wouldn't surrender. Mir showed superiority in the Muay Thai, boxing and wrestling realms against Nelson. Nelson ate more knees and was taken down more than anyone else on the card.
Jackson picked apart Hamill while standing, but the crowd still disapproved. Boos rained down for most of the fight.
UFC 130 saw some youngsters get their due, though. Rick Story excelled in his first main card appearance by defeating Thiago Alves via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28). Travis Browne stayed undefeated at 11-0-1 by knocking Stefan Struve out with one strong right in the first round. Twenty-four old Demetrious Johnson also scored a slight upset of Miguel Torres via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28).
Brian Stann had the other knockout of the night. The former war hero celebrated the weekend of his favorite holiday by flooring Jorge Santiago multiple times, including for good in the second round.
Check below for bout-by-bout breakdowns and come back to lasvegassun.com for full coverage later.
Rampage Jackson vs. Matt Hamill
Third Round Hamill has landed a few leg kicks on Rampage. They've done no damage, but that's literally the only area Hamill has found any success against Rampage. Jackson doesn't look at his best either, but he's jabbing and moving just enough to keep everyone interested. That changes at the 2:00 mark. Rampage wobbles Hamill with a right hook and goes for a slam, but Hamill gets away. Rampage, a usual fan favorite, is getting booed as he talks trash to Hamill. It looks like he's asking for him to come forward. Hamill gets Rampage in the clinch, but can't hurt him. Rampage wins another round and should have a 30-27 decision. Jackson wins a unanimous decision with all three judges scoring it 30-27.
Second Round Rampage is not going to let Hamill take him down. He re-affirms that in the first minute of the second round by shrugging off two more takedown attempts from "The Hammer". Rampage is winning the striking but these two aren't exactly letting loose. The crowd is booing as they mainly dance around for the middle portions of the round. Nothing Hamill does is hurting Rampage. A few knees and hooks open a cut on Hamill's forehead. Rampage wins the second in the same manner as the first. He's ahead 20-18 on the Las Vegas Sun scorecard.
First Round A good barometer of this fight should be whether Matt Hamill's takedown attempts work. The first one failed. Hamill shot in within a minute, but Jackson shook him off without much trouble. Hamill is the aggressor early, but Rampage lands the first punch with any purpose with an uppercut. Hamill is coming forward and working his leg kicks, all signs point to him being very confident. The few strikes Rampage lands are thunderous, but Hamill is sticking with his game plan. A close round turns decisively Rampage's way in the final 30 seconds as he gets Hamill, who is bleeding out of his mouth, backtracking from strikes. Rampage wins the first round 10-9.
Frank Mir vs. Roy Nelson
Third Round Roy Nelson has his head down and hands on his knees to start the round. He's gassed and Mir has no problem taking advantage. Mir takes Nelson down around the two-minute mark and unleashes elbow to the throat. He gets Nelson in a choke, but "Big Country" fights through it. Mir gets another takedown and through 13 minutes of this fight, these two don't look like they are in the same class. Make that for the entire 15 minutes as Mir gives Nelson vicious ground-and-pound. The two share a hug at the end and this should be an easy 30-27 unanimous decision for Mir. The judges give it to Mir via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-26).
Second Round Roy Nelson's oft-criticized gut actually offers one advantage — plenty of padding. No matter how much Mir kicks him there, and he did many times early in this round, Nelson isn't hurt. Mir looks better than ever and is taking over most aspects of this fight as he takes down Nelson again. Nelson gets back up, but Mir's striking will not stop. The rest of the round is much of the same as the two Las Vegans are making a strong case for Fight of the Night. The crowd is loving it. Nelson keeps coming, but Mir is way ahead. Las Vegas Sun sees it as 20-18 for Mir.
First Round Looks like Mir told Nelson "good luck" after referee Josh Rosenthal spoke to them. It turns into a grappling match early with Nelson first pinning Mir into the cage. The position is reversed before Mir hits Nelson with another knee, this time to the head. They wind up on the other side of the cage and Nelson lands his first major strike, opening what looks to be a small cut on Mir's face. For a solid minute, Mir puts on a Muay Thai clinic. He gets Nelson's head down in the clinch and unleashes numerous knees. Nelson is dazed for a second, but regroups. He comes in for a few powerful hooks, but Mir executes a beautiful trip to take Nelson down. The crowd goes wild, but it doesn't do much. Nelson is back to his feet. Mir takes an entertaining first round 10-9.
Stefan Struve vs. Travis Browne
First Round This is probably the tallest match in UFC history. Struve and Browne are the two tallest fighters currently on the UFC's roster and anything other than a knockout win from one of the two would be surprising. The first half of the round is almost dead even and spent entirely in the stand-up. Struve leg kicks have bothered Browne, but the Hawaiian is more accurate with his punches. Before the three-minute mark, Browne takes Struve down. But the position is switched and Struve goes in for a guillotine choke, an attempt that fails. When they get back to their feet, Browne charges and hits Struve with a perfect right blow to finish. Browne defeats Struve via knockout at 4:11 of the first round and could have given himself a nice knockout of the night bonus check.
Thiago Alves vs. Rick Story
Third Round Thiago Alves comes forward and is trying to bate Story into a striking war. It's working for the first minute as Story looks to counter, but is losing by taking too many jabs and legkicks. Story gasps for breath and looks more exhausted than Alves. A short stinit in the clinch, coincidentally or not, is snapped when the crowd re-ignites their booing. Both men are tired, Story a little more so, and it might have got to him when he eats a knee from Alves with 50 seconds remaining. Alves is looking for the kill, but Story won't give it to him. Alves wins the final round, but loses the fight on our scorecard. Story wins 29-28 according to Las Vegas Sun. The judges agree and give Story a unanimous decision victory (29-28, 29-28, 29-28).
Second Round Alves wins the early striking portion of this round, but Story goes back to his wrestling blanket. They trade takedowns with Story's coming first, but neither can do anything with them. The round is halfway through and Story has Alves pressed up against the cage on the North side. Blood is dripping from Story's elbow, but it's having no effect on the fight. Story is doing little work and the referee breaks them up at the 1:20 mark. Story surprisingly out-strikes Alves in one little exchange before it's back to the clinch. Story gets another takedown and wins another round. He's up 20-18 on the Las Vegas Sun scorecard.
First Round These two don't like each other and will make no admit to hide it. Story asked for Alves, one of the top fighters in the welterweight division, who took it as a slight. When Alves enters the cage, he yells at Story. Sounded something like "You don't know what you've gotten yourself into" from press row, but couldn't tell for sure. Not a lot of action for all that hatred in the opening four minutes, but Story has out-wrestled Alves to this point. He's taken him down once and almost got his back before Alves escaped. Alves got a takedown of his own, but did nothing with it. They both let their hands go near the minute mark, but it's impossible to tell who got the best of it. Story's wrestling gives him a 10-9 round to start.
Brian Stann vs. Jorge Santiago
Second Round Stann wants to keep the pace, so he comes out and attacks Santiago. But Santiago looks to have recovered and is countering with strikes of his own. Santiago shoots for a takedown, but Stann shrugs it off. A little more than a minute into the round and Stann drops Santiago again, this time with a short uppercut. Santiago pops right back up, not as badly hurt as he was in the first round. But Stann's face spells terror with a grimace and nothing Santiago does affects him. Stann catches a Santiago leg kick and eldues a dangerous flying elbow around the midway point. Stann is beating Santiago up and there's no way around it. Stann drops him yet again with a massive left late in the round and follows with more strikes raining down. Stann defeats Santiago via TKO at 4:29 of the second round.
First Round Cautious approaches for both Stann and Santiago characterize the opening minute. Santiago is circling and Stann is waiting for him to engage. Stann throws a couple legkicks and lands one combination to get things going. At the two-minute mark, Santiago is still slow to initiate action. He trips and also takes a whip-like kick to the shin from Stann. Santiago's first highlight comes a litte later when a headkick grazes Stann's temple. Stann drops Santiago with a left hook with 1:45 remaining and pounds on him from top position. With a minute left, it's very much in question whether Santiago can survive this round. He does, but only after more punishment from Stann. Las Vegas Sun scores the opening stanza 10-8 for Stann.
A stroll through the MGM Grand Garden Arena reveals the patrons of UFC 130 aren’t totally over the loss of the card’s scheduled main event between Frankie Edgar and Gray Maynard.
Many are still bemoaning the fact that the night will end without the third meeting between the two for the lightweight championship belt. But the complaints don’t go much further than that.
The other four pay-per-view bouts are minutes away from starting. The first on the schedule gives two middleweight hopefuls a golden opportunity to make their way towards the top of the heap.
Amercian war hero Brian Stann is coming off a first round knockout defeat over Chris Leben at UFC 125, while former UFC castoff Jorge Santiago vows to make the most of his second chance.
It might take an hour-and-a-half or so for this place to reach its peak in terms of noise. The heavyweight showdown between Las Vegas natives Frank Mir and Roy Nelson is the most anticipated bout on the schedule.
Mir (14-5) and Nelson (15-5) are seemingly equal in most areas and even opened at the same odds to win the fight in local sports books. But a wave of support on Mir — one that our crew of experts doesn’t necessarily agree with — has moved him to a slight favorite.
The two contests sandwiched between the aforementioned fights are Stefan Struve vs. Travis Browne and Thiago Alves vs. Rick Story.
Browne is unbeaten in 10 career fights, though his last bout ended in a draw with Cheick Kongo at UFC 120, but Struve has captured more attention in his UFC career with fearless comebacks against Christian Morecraft and Denis Stojnic. He’s 5-2 since joining the promotion in 2009.
Alves is a former top welterweight contender, but is only 1-2 in his last three bouts. The 26-year-old Rick Story has won five in a row and sees this as an opportunity to position himself for a title shot sometime next year after a couple more victories.
Stay tuned to lasvegassun.com for round-by-round updates and analysis of the pay-per-view main card. Until then, check below for full results and description of the five bouts on the preliminary card.
Demetrious Johnson defeated Miguel Torres by unanimous decision in a bantamweight bout. All three judges scored it 29-28, bringing a downpour of boos from the crowd. After Torres won an easy first round, Johnson was in top position for the remaining 10 minutes. But Torres continually put Johnson in trouble with submission attempts. The judges apparently counted position for more in this fight of the night candidate. Lasvegassun.com had it 29-28 in favor of Torres.
Tim Boetsch scored a unanimous decision victory over Kendall Grove (30-27, 30-27, 30-27) in his first fight at middleweight. The drop down in weight for Boetsch, who always fought as a light heavyweight at 205 pounds previously, appeared to do wonders. He took down Grove whenever he pleased, threw more powerful punches and dictated where the bout went in the clinch. Grove dropped his second straight and the former 'The Ultimate Fighter' winner's UFC career may be on its last leg.
Gleison Tibau defeated Rafaello Oliveira via submission (rear naked choke) at 3:28 of the second round in their lightweight bout. Tibau won his second fight in two months after scoring a split decision win against Kurt Pellegrino at UFC 128. The bout between two Brazilians was grappling-heavy in the first round, but Tibau began taking control with his strikes in the second. He looked to be on the verge of a TKO victory after landing large doses of ground-and-pound a minute before taking Oliveira's back and sinking in the choke.
Michael McDonald defeated Chris Cariaso via split decision (30-27, 29-28. 27-30) in a bantamweight contest. The 20-year old McDonald won his sixth straight and improved his record to 12-1. Cariaso out-wrestled McDonald at times, with at least one takedown in every round, but McDonald was clearly superior in the stand-up. McDonald threw and landed more strikes than Cariaso, leading to some confusion as to how one judge scored all three rounds for Cariaso.
Renan Barao defeated Cole Escovedo via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 29-28). The win marked Barao's 26th straight. The only fight the bantamweight prospect has ever lost was his first professional contest. Barao controlled the first two rounds, but it was mostly devoid of excitement. That changed in the final round as Barao started to open up a little more. He threw and connected with a spinning backfist, flying knee and front kick, but couldn't put away the resilient former WEC champion.