As noted earlier today, Quinton “Rampage” Jackson vs. Matt Hamill is now official for 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.
It was widely expected that Rashad Evans would be filling in for Silva to face Jackson. The two squared off last May, with Evans using a wrestling-heavy strategy to score a unanimous decision over his rival. UFC President Dana White explained the decision to go with Matt Hamill vs. “Rampage” Jackson to USA Today.
“Who wants to see that (crap) again?” White asked of a Rampage – Rashad rematch. “Rampage-Rashad, the (freaking) snoozefest? I don’t want to see that (freaking) fight again.
“Matt Hamill and Rampage might not talk a bunch of (crap) about each other before the fight, but when have you not seen Matt Hamill fight?” he continued. “Matt Hamill’s going to go in there and try to beat him.”
Jackson rebounded from the loss to 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. 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.
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.