Matt Hamill’s trainer: We wanted “Rampage” even before UFC 130 bout was booked

By Jon Lane

Well before a since-scratched match between Quinton “Rampage” Jackson and Thiago Silva was made for UFC 130, Duff Holmes, manager and trainer of light-heavyweight contender Matt Hamill, had a chat with UFC matchmaker Joe Silva.

As Holmes told (, he was hoping Jackson would lose to Lyoto Machida at UFC 123 because he believed his protege had the right ingredients to defeat Jackson, a former UFC and PRIDE champion.

Jackson narrowly defeated “The Dragon” via split decision and was scheduled to meet Silva in a contest that may have determined the next challenger to the UFC light-heavyweight crown. Then Silva’s status became a point of contention; his drug screen from a UFC 125 win over Brandon Vera triggered the Nevada State Athletic Commission to retest his sample, and the results still are pending.

That compelled UFC officials to begin moving parts. Rashad Evans, forced from his title fight with Mauricio “Shogun” Rua at UFC 128, was rumored to have been granted a rematch with Jackson, his hated rival, at UFC 130.


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