UFC to rely on Quinton 'Rampage' Jackson to deliver

May 24, 2011 3:06 AM

Memorial Day weekend in Vegas has been a tradition for the UFC to put on a blockbuster card, but this year the injury bug got a hold of some fighters.

Frank Edgar, Gray Maynard, Gleison Tibau, and Bart Palaszewski all have been removed from the card with varying injuries. The one that hurts the most was the heavily anticipated Edgar-Maynard rematch for the UFC lightweight title. Now the card has no title fights.

The UFC is going to have to rely on Quinton "Rampage" Jackson’s name to sell the PPV’s on UFC 130 as the card is fairly weak, especially for a Memorial Day weekend event! I will still be ordering, betting, and watching the fights as it is a UFC product so it will be top notch.

Sometimes the lesser named fights provide great fights we aren’t expecting.

Jackson vs. Matt Hamill: I think Hamill is definitely being undervalued at +240 and might be worth a potential play. Jackson has gotten away from the things that have made him successful and turned himself into a one dimensional boxer. Hamill won’t need to worry about kicks, a takedown or much else except the hands of Quinton. Hamill is an excellent wrestler and a very smart fighter. I think Rampage starts off slow, as always, but will find a way to connect with a power shot. I won’t lay the chalk, but Rampage TKO 2.

Frank Mir vs. Roy Nelson: A very interesting matchup as these two heavyweights collide looking to get themselves back into the title hunt. Nelson is coming off a gutsy, but dominant loss to Junior Dos Santos. Mir is coming off an uneventful win over the out of prime Mirko Crocop. Both are great on the ground despite their size and have comparable striking. I like Mir’s experience in the Octagon and quality of competition over his career. Mir -120 by decision.

Rick Story vs. Thiago Alves: A healthy, in shape Alves is one the welterweight division doesn’t want to fight. With the help of dietician Mike Dolce, Alves has transformed himself into the best conditioned fighter in the division and no longer misses weight. Dolce has revived the beast inside Alves. Story has won five in a row in the UFC, but all against lesser competition than Alves. Great takedown defense and excellent boxing mixed with muay thai will be key. Alves -190 TKO 1.

Brian Stann vs. Jorge Santiago: Stann is a former Marine. Santiago, back from a five year absence, will look to use his speed and ground skills to subdue Stann’s striking. The problem is Jorge lacks the wrestling to be able to get the fight to the ground. Brian has a decided advantage on the feet and since moving to Greg Jackson’s camp in New Mexico has looked excellent. The right play at -135, Stann by decision.

Stefan Struve vs. Travis Browne: Although Browne is 1-0-1 in the UFC, this seems like a step back for Struve who has won two in a row, and five of six. Standing 6-11, the Skyscraper Struve holds most advantages except punching power. His reach and craftiness will handle the flat footed Browne on the feet. Look for Browne to end up tapping out. Struve +110 submission 2.

The UFC will also be broadcasting two fights on SPIKE TV at 5 p.m, and three fights on Facebook at 3:45 p.m. To view the fights on Facebook, just "like" the UFC fan page and watch the fights for free. Another way the UFC is rewarding its fans.