Time to bring out the heavy lumber. UFC 130 is coming up this Saturday night from the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, and the top three fights on the card feature some of the most imposing men ever to step into the Octagon. The main event at 205 pounds pits Quinton “Rampage” Jackson (31-8 lifetime) against Matt “The Hammer” Hamill (10-2), who has moved up the UFC ladder with five consecutive wins despite being deaf. Bodog Sportsbook has Jackson pegged as the –275 favorite with Hamill at +215.
Moving up to the Heavyweight division, we have one of the largest and most popular fighters in the game today: Roy “Big Country” Nelson, who tips the scales at 260 pounds – or more, depending on how many hamburgers he ate that day. Nelson (15-5) won Season 10 of The Ultimate Fighter and is surprisingly talented for a man his size, earning his black belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu from none other than Renzo Gracie. But can Nelson hang with former champion Frank Mir (14-5)? Bodog Sportsbook has Mir favored at –140 to Nelson’s +110.
The third “big” fight on the card has the massive 6-foot-11 Dutchman Stefan “Skyscraper” Struve (21-4) bringing his kickboxing and BJJ skills into the Octagon against 6-foot-7 Travis Browne (10-0-1), who drew Cheick Kongo last October in his second appearance for UFC. Browne is the –130 favorite at Bodog Sportsbook even though Struve (even money) has proved difficult to put away, winning five of his last six fights – the lone defeat coming at the hands of Nelson in March 2010.
The UFC hasn’t put a lot of work into promoting this card, coming off the massive UFC 129 event in Toronto, but there are enough intriguing fighters involved to keep things interesting. Thiago Alves, Miguel Torres, Kendall Grove and Gleison Tibau are all in action this Saturday; Tibau is in one of the three fights that will be shown on UFC’s Facebook page prior to the main card. The pay-per-view starts at 9:00 p.m. Eastern.