Matt Hamill may be the only fighter to have truly benefited from Thiago Silva’s questionable UFC 125 drug test. He will no longer be fighting a lower-profile and dangerous opponent in Phil Davis (who will now be fighting a lower-profile and dangerous opponent himself in Jason Brilz) but will instead be taking on Silva’s originally scheduled opponent, Quinton “Rampage” Jackson, who is similarly dangerous but carries a higher-profile.
Earning a loss to Davis–which was a real possibility as “Mr. Wonderful” has established himself as one of the more promising young contenders in the game–would have lowered Hamill’s stock in the light heavyweight division considerably, while netting a win over the up-and-comer would have done little to bring him closer to a title shot.
With Jackson, Hamill is in the opposite boat; a win over the former champ will likely place Hamill into title contention, or at least very close, and a loss to the former PRIDE star will not carry anywhere near as much weight as would have a loss to the still-developing Davis.
A very confident Hamill spoke with MMAJunkie.com recently about his upcoming match up with “Rampage,” which he believes will provide him the opportunity to situate himself in the middle of the light heavyweight title picture.
“I’m just glad Rampage accepted the fight,” Hamill said. “I had my doubts if he would or not. I’m glad he’s so motivated. He won’t have any excuses when I beat him. I will prove I belong in the title mix at 205 (pounds). ‘Rampage’ is an old-school brawler. I’m much more of a complete mixed martial artist. I have the heart to break his will, and I will make ‘Rampage’ very uncomfortable in this fight.”
Though Hamill desires to be considered a top contender in his division and believes a win over Jackson will get him there, he is currently only focusing on “Rampage” and their fight this May.
“As for a title shot, I only have eyes for ‘Rampage,'” Hamill said. “I don’t care what happens after that. He’s the guy I want right now.”
Hamill and Jackson will meet this May 28th at UFC 130: Edgar vs. Maynard 3, which is going down at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada.