UFC star ‘Rampage’ Jackson feels he’s underpromoted
By JOHN SILVER firstname.lastname@example.org May 27, 2011 10:18PM
Quinton ‘‘Rampage” Jackson faces Matt Hamill in the UFC 130 main event tonight in Las Vegas. | Duane Burleson~AP
tonight on pay-per-view
Where: MGM Grand Garden Arena, Las Vegas
Main event: Quinton
“Rampage” Jackson vs. Matt Hamill
Co-main event: Frank Mir vs. Roy Nelson
Watch at suntimes.com
Watch the three fights from Saturday’s UFC 130
preliminaries at suntimes.com/sports. Starting at 6, you’ll be able to watch Cole Escovedo vs. Renan Barao and Chris Cariaso vs. Michael McDonald in bantamweight action and Rafaello Oliveira vs. Gleison Tibau in lightweight action.
On Spike TV
At 7, the action moves to Spike TV with two preliminaries, including East Chicago’s Miguel Torres vs. Demetrious Johnson.
Updated: July 7, 2011 2:39PM
LAS VEGAS — Sometimes even former UFC champions feel unappreciated at work.
Quinton “Rampage” Jackson, the popular light heavyweight, said he has felt overlooked and underloved in the sport.
‘‘I’m the first undisputed light heavyweight champion,” he said. ‘‘I beat Dan Henderson [to unify the UFC and Pride titles]. That’s not really promoted much. I feel I’m one of the more entertaining fighters. That’s not promoted much.”
Critics have said that Jackson’s attention has strayed beyond the Octagon. Jackson, 32, has a budding acting career after starring in last summer’s “The A-Team” and has expressed an interest to retire at 35.
‘‘[That] has nothing to do with my lifestyle,’’ Jackson said. ‘‘I would say that sometimes I feel unappreciated in MMA.’’
Tonight he can help gain appreciation and put himself in the title picture with a decisive win against Matt Hamill at UFC 130 in Las Vegas. While it’s not certain, UFC president Dana White suggested that defeating Hamill would put Jackson in line to fight light-heavyweight champion Jon Jones this fall.
Battling the bulge
With his mullet haircut and a belly that looks as if he’s late into the second trimester of a pregnancy, Roy Nelson is constantly underestimated. But ‘‘The Ultimate Fighter” winner is a skilled submission fighter and can make a big statement tonight when he faces former heavyweight champion Frank Mir. Fighting with all of that fat, Mir said, hurts Nelson, but he isn’t at a complete disadvantage.
‘‘Muscle is much more anaerobic and oxygen-consuming than fat tissue is,’’ Mir said. ‘‘He’s probably a 220-pound guy. If he’s walking around at 260, that’s 40 pounds of fat he’s overweight. If he were 260 and jacked, he would actually be worse off in his cardio. So the fat doesn’t affect his heart as much.’’
Not the villain
Jorge Santiago, a veteran middleweight, returns to the UFC after a four-year absence. Fighting a highly decorated Marine on Memorial Day weekend will ensure he will not receive a warm welcome back. But Santiago said he’s not viewing himself as a villain to Brian Stann’s hero.
“He’s a strong opponent,’’ Santiago said. ‘‘American fans love him. He’s an American hero. I love America as much as he does. I live here and have my daughter here. But inside the ring, it will be two men just doing their job. One guy has to be the winner. It’s just a fight.’’
It was a heartwarming scene at the open workouts Thursday when Hamill, who was born deaf, met Christian Buserini, a 12-year-old hearing-impaired boy from Henderson, Nev. The pair signed to each other and took photos. . . . The producers of ‘‘Hamill,’’ a movie on the fighter’s life, recently secured a distribution deal. Look for a fall release date. . . . Welterweight Thiago Alves, who always seems to have difficulty making weight, succeeded Friday, coming in at
170 pounds for his fight against Rick Story.