The UFC confirmed that Quinton “Rampage” Jackson will face Matt Hamill at UFC 130 this Memorial Day weekend. Hamill will be replacing Thiago Silva, who was pulled from the fight after one of his samples from his UFC 125 drug screen tested positive. The Brazilian slugger has claimed that his second sample tested negative, and his drug screen is still under investigation by the Nevada State Athletic Commission. The UFC has decided to play it safe and re-schedule the bout while Silva sorts out the issue with the commission.
A PRIDE FC veteran and former UFC light heavyweight champion, Jackson recently rebounded from a decision loss to rival Rashad Evans by scoring a razor-thin split decision victory over fellow former champion Lyoto “The Dragon” Machida at UFC 123 in November of last year. Since knocking out Wanderlei Silva at UFC 92 in 2008, Jackson has had inconsistent performances, and has only fought three times since. Usually a highlight reel fixture, Jackson has fought 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 was admittedly distracted by his acting career leading up to his grudge match with Evans.
As for Hamill, The Ultimate Fighter Season 3 veteran recently scored the biggest win of his career by defeating his coach from that season, MMA veteran and early UFC poster boy Tito Ortiz, via unanimous decision at UFC 121 last October. The heavy-handed wrestler has gone undefeated in his last five UFC appearances, with the only blemish being that one of those wins came via disqualification (illegal elbows) against Jon Jones in a fight that Hamill was fast 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 Gray Maynard.
Thanks to Mark Wayne for contributing to this article.