By Kelsey Mowatt
Heading into last night’s UFC 130 card, Quinton “Rampage” Jackson repeatedly stated that despite speculation from some to the contrary, he was indeed focused and motivated to hand Matt Hamill his third professional loss. Although Jackson was unable to add another highlight reel KO to his resume and apparently failed to excite some of the fans in attendance with his decision winning performance, the former light-heavyweight champ had little difficulty in defeating his opponent. It may not have been Jackson’s most memorable win, but it was dominant nonetheless.
“I was okay with my performance. I wanted to do a little more,” Jackson said afterwards, while discussing the bout that saw him out score Hamill with strikes. “I knew that I could stay on my feet with Matt Hamill but Matt had a great game plan. I saw it as soon as I got in there with him. I saw how far away he was standing from me and I could tell he was going to try to take me down and he had some great low kicks. It made me not do what I exactly I wanted to do. I wanted to come throw some bungalows on him, drop these big d’s on him, but he’s a tough guy.”
“I wanted the knockout,” added Jackson, who revealed after the fight that he had fought with a fractured hand. “You guys know how I am, you know I like knocking people out. Matt’s never been knocked out before, I just found that out a couple of days ago, I didn’t know that. I took that as a bit of a personal challenge, so I ended up hurting my hand a little bit more, not even the fractured one. That guy has a hard head; I don’t think anyone is going to knock him out. Good luck to him.”
While Jackson clearly wanted to stop Hamill, and some may criticize him for failing to do so, the veteran’s ability to completely negate the takedown attempts of the decorated wrestler was particularly impressive.
“Matt Hamill did a great job of not getting knocked out,” Jackson said. “He tried to take me down, which I knew he couldn’t, so I fought the fight that I had to fight. He couldn’t take me down; people forget that I’m a wrestler too.”
After scoring a split decision win over Lyoto Machida in November, and having recorded his 38th pro victory in last night’s bout with Hamill, Jackson has repositioned himself into the title mix. Depending on the status of Jackson’s hand and what transpires when Rashad Evans takes on Phil Davis in August, however, it remains to be seen whether Rampage will face champion Jon Jones next.
“I don’t really know Jones,” said Jackson while discussing the newly crowned champ. “I don’t have anything against him as of yet. He has my belt. I still feel like I didn’t lose that belt...it’s not his fault he has my belt, it’s my fault.”