When Matt “The Hammer” Hamill saw an opportunity to quickly up his status in the UFC’s light heavyweight division by taking on Quinton “Rampage” Jackson, he jumped at the chance.
Hamill was originally scheduled to face up and comer Phil Davis later this month at UFC Fight Night 24, but was unmotivated by the prospect of fighting a prospect. When it was revealed that Jackson’s original opponent, Thiago Silva, returned questionable results on his latest drug test and would possibly not be cleared by the Nevada State Athletic Commission in time to fight Jackson (if at all), Hamill stepped up and campaigned the UFC for a shot at the PRIDE veteran, which he was awarded.
Now, Hamill is preparing to take on one of the UFC’s biggest stars in a co-main event bout at UFC 130 later this spring. “The Hammer” spoke with Mac’s MMA recently about getting the match up and about what a win over “Rampage” would mean for him.
“I was supposed to fight in Toronto against Phil Davis, but I wasn’t really happy with [him being] my opponent,” said Hamill. “When I found out Rampage had no one to fight, Duff Holmes called Joe Silva and said ‘Matt Hamill is available, Matt Hamill wants to fight ‘Rampage.’ Dana White wanted me to fight anyone in the top ten. Trust me, when I got Rampage, I got very excited. This is the moment I wanted, I’m one fight away from the title. This could be a great fight, it could be a war, it’s not going to be easy but when an opponent is ranked better than me it keeps me motivated. May 28, I’ll be ready.”
UFC 130: Edgar vs. Maynard 3 will go down this May 28 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada.