Matt Hamill's Blogs

  • UFC 121 ‘Lesnar vs. Velasquez’ Analysis: The Main Card By: Tim Leidecker

    Diego Sanchez file photo:

    UFC 121 “Lesnar vs. Velasquez” on Saturday at the Honda Center in Anaheim, Calif., will likely go down as the promotion’s “Show of the Year” for 2010 and probably its best since UFC 84 in May 2008.

    There was so much to like about the event. The heavyweight title changed hands again. Diego Sanchez revived his career as a welterweight. Tito Ortiz passed the torch to one-time understudy Matt Hamill. And Brendan Schaub moved ever closer to becoming a Top 10 heavyweight.

    Analysis follows for the five main card bouts at UFC 121.

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  • UFC 121 Postmortem: Brocktober Ends with a Thud By: Jake Rossen

    Cain Velasquez (right):

    Brock Lesnar’s fame prior to entering the UFC brought him a considerable amount of money and opportunity. It also brought some unrealistic expectations for a man with only six professional fights to his name.

    Lesnar, 4-1 since his 2008 UFC debut, looked uncomfortable from the outset against contender Cain Velasquez on Saturday, getting into desperate punching exchanges and eventually suffering damage to the point that referee Herb Dean stopped the bout. His sole trump card -- takedown to position to landing molar-rattling punches -- was canceled the minute Velasquez popped up within seconds of being grounded. Taking the fight as sole proof, Lesnar’s is a reputation in search of a complete skill set.

    Inexperience isn’t the only explanation: Velasquez only had eight fights himself. But there’s a world of difference between hosting a camp catered exclusively to you (Lesnar) and having the in-and-out daily camaraderie of a high-level gym (like Velasquez’s AKA) offering constant emotional and physical support. Lesnar has insulated himself from the sport and most of the world in his Minnesota compound. Being a misanthrope may seem like a good base for a career that involves harming people, but not when it also requires team energy and direction.

    There was tremendous crowd reaction to Velasquez, but whether that was directed at his win or at the sheer adrenaline dump of seeing someone of Lesnar’s proportions beaten down is an open issue. Maybe they were simply rabid at the sight of a sport fight turning into a fight-fight: Lesnar and Velasquez dug into each other like they were in a parking lot.

    Lesnar will be fine; there are plenty of fighters that can’t stop his takedown in the division, and he’ll win more than he loses. Velasquez, who is every bit as good as his coaches say, is a poor standard to hold yourself to. He’ll make a great champion for the UFC.

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  • 5 Questions: ‘TUF’ Finale Edition By: Jake Rossen

    D. Mandel/

    Is the Slice/Alexander catchweight a Kimbo preservative?

    The UFC’s occupation with “catchweight” fights continues with Kimbo Slice meeting regular light-heavyweight Houston Alexander at 215 pounds; Slice has already condemned the weight cut as taxing. There are literally dozens, if not hundreds, of heavyweights of every conceivable talent level for Slice to have a run at. Why put him on diuretics? Possible answer: Slice losing via hammering KO to Alexander can easily be explained as being out of his element. Not as easily explained: what he was doing there in the first place.

    What is Veach doing for Edgar?

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  • Video: Jones, Hamill Open Workout

    Video courtesy of

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  • Red Ink: Jones/Hamill By: Jake Rossen

    T. Goodlad/

    Part of MMA’s appeal is the amusement in seeing human beings perform as though they were in a video game, with striking techniques that can seem miles away from the kind of stationary, routine exchanges found in boxing.

    Boxers are very good at what they do: what they do just isn’t that layered. That sport is a two-point attack: MMA offers eight points (hands, elbows, knees, feet), and athletes like Cung Le, Georges St. Pierre, and now Jon Jones are composing attacks you’d normally only see in an arcade.

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  • Primer: ‘Ultimate Fighter 10’ Finale By: Jake Rossen

    T. Goodlad/

    With a midsection like rising dough, Roy Nelson is among the unlikeliest of finalists in the history of the nearly-five-year-old “Ultimate Fighter” television tournament. Despite burning an incredible number of calories in camps, he manages to recoup them and maintain an impressive bulk. If he ever stops training, the Learning Channel will be paying to cut him out of his home.

    This is not intended to disparage Nelson, a good fighter, but it is intended to address how casual UFC viewers will feel about a heavyweight contender who looks like the Michelin Man with a bad case of fluid retention. While Nelson was the favorite heading into the season in September, he took a lethargic approach to the finals: against Justin Wren, he actually appeared to have lost. If Nelson is not endearing himself to fans through his charisma or through his fighting, that doesn’t leave a lot left.

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  • Jones-Hamill Breakdown

    Video courtesy of

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  • 'TUF' Crowd: Jones/Hamill Considered for December Finale By: Jake Rossen

    A fight between tough wrestlers and unorthodox strikers Matt Hamill and Jon Jones is being penciled in for a December 5 “Ultimate Fighter” finale, according to

    If the fight goes through, it will mark Hamill’s first Octagon appearance since earning a March win over Mark Munoz and subsequently being sidelined by a knee injury. It would also be a virtual guarantee to make the live Spike broadcast block considering Jones’ rapid elevation in the promotion’s light-heavyweight division -- and the guarantee that the inevitable Kimbo Slice fight won’t take more than twenty seconds to air.

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