Quinton Jackson vs. Matt Hamill: Round 1
Herb Dean is the third man in the cage for tonight’s main event. Judges Roy Silbert, Glenn Trowbridge and Tony Weeks score the bout at cageside. Jackson sports his usual pre-fight grimace during the introductions and final instructions. Hamill attacks with kicks to the head and body early, then has a long shot stuffed by Jackson. Hamill kicks with his left as Jackson circles off in that direction. Rampage paws with punches just out of range; Hamill uses another outside leg kick, then a teep. Jackson explodes with punches only when Hamill comes inside, looking to counter. He reacts to a faked shot from Hamill, but comes forward with a two-piece and finishes with an uppercut on the doubled-over “Hammer.” Long, straight rights from Hamill precede a stuffed shot. Jackson cracks Hamill with a left and stuffs another single-leg a moment later. Now Jackson goes offensive, moving forward with punches, but this soon subsides. Good left-right from Hamill around the 60-second mark. Jackson shucks another shot and blasts away upon exit, landing more uppercuts and an outside thigh kick at the horn. Blood drips from the mouth of Hamill as he walks to his corner, hands on his hips.
Round 2: Hamill comes out with a left head kick, but Jackson blocks it and fires off a crisp combo. Hamill half-shoots, eats a left hand and fakes another shot. Hamill shoots across the center of the cage, but Jackson is backing up before Hamill’s arms are even extended. Jackson bullies his man on the fence, drives a sharp knee to the gut. Uppercut in the clinch from Jackson makes Hamill try a throw. It doesn’t come, so Hamill shoves the ex-champ off. Hamill tries to go low for an ankle pick; again Jackson has it sussed and backs Hamill into the fence with punches. Back in the center of the cage with 2:30 on the clock and Hamill lobs a noticeably slower leg kick. Jackson slips a long, slow jab from Hamill and backs him up with a one-two. Jackson stuffs two more shots from Hamill in short order. He comes inside and digs a heater to Hamill’s body, following up with shots to the head. More body blows come from Rampage and he finishes the frame with a knee in the clinch.
Round 3: Hamill starts the round with a Superman punch, but is punished for the try with a Jackson counter. Hamill continues to try and stick with single jabs that miss and single-legs that are stuffed. He does manage to clinch with Jackson, but it doesn’t last long. Hamill puts a left hand on Jackson’s cheek. It doesn’t do much and Jackson soon moves forward with more rib roasters. Hamill clinches up and Jackson scores with a knee to the gut. The Hammer looking every bit the anvil, taking blows low and high from Jackson, leg kicks and punches. Ninety seconds to go and both men are spent. Jackson puts Hamill’s back on the fence, but gets reversed and eats a few punches to the body. Boos rain down in the last 30 seconds, but Jackson stifles them with a leaping knee and a hard combination to finish the fight.
Official scores: Judges Silbert, Trowbridge and Weeks all score it 30-27 in favor of Quinton Jackson. The crowd boos as the cards are read and throughout Jackson’s interview, surely not in protest of the decision, but the fight itself.