Photo via Francis Specker Photography
UFC 130: "Rampage vs. Hamill" is set to take place this Saturday night (May 30, 2011) from the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada, featuring a light heavyweight headliner between former 205-pound champion Quinton "Rampage" Jackson and division stalwart Matt "The Hammer" Hamill.
In addition, heavyweight contenders Frank Mir and Roy "Big Country" Nelson will throw leather in the night's co-main event while Brian Stann and Jorge Santiago battle for a spot in the middleweight title hunt.
In preparation for this weekend's return to "Sin City," the UFC will hold a pre-fight press conference featuring the major players from the upcoming event including Jackson, Hamill, Mir, Nelson, Stann, Santiago and of course, UFC President Dana White.
The press conference will air LIVE right here on MMAmania.com at 4 p.m. ET after the jump.
- Introductions for the fighters leads into Dana White showing up. Dana says it's rough to lose the title fight on the show but the card is stacked, so it's okay.
- Brian Stann says it's never easy to talk about his military background because it seems like he's bragging about it but he doesn't mind using his platform to push the American act. "Sorry if people are getting sick of it."
- Stann dismisses claims of Wanderlei Silva avoiding him and losing fans for it, saying, "for every one Stann fan there are 5,000 Silva fans."
- Jorge Santiago worked hard to get back to UFC and said that was basically always the goal. It's an honor to fight Stann on the main card of pay-per-view on Memorial Day weekend.
- Matt Hamill says his movie is coming this fall but he's just focused on training.
- White laughs as there is a large gap between questions. Uh-oh.
- Ariel Helwani asks Dana if Stann is his dream employee. Dana dismisses that and says maybe it was or was not strategic to place him on this card to play up the war hero thing.
- Rampage Jackson fields his first question and says he doesn't know if there is any real pressure on him for this fight. He enjoys being the underdog usually but he just takes fights as they come. Says he gives Hamill the underdog status for this fight. "He can have it."
- There seems to be a problem with Matt Hamill's microphone. Having a lot of trouble hearing him.
- Money question to Dana on what a win would mean for both Rampage and Hamill. White says a win for both would be huge and if Rampage gets through Saturday night he's "in the mix" for a title shot. Of course.
- Frank Mir comes in and says there is no drawback to fighting in Las Vegas because he lives there and he actually loves it.
- Roy Nelson chimes in to echo those sentiments and brings up the fact that everything is open 24/7 so he can get burgers at any place, any time of day. Nicely done, Roy.
- Dana says they've been fighting over gym time and trunk color shorts.
- Mir steps in and they start joking about gym time and who got the gym first. Mir says they tried to build heat that way but it didn't work. No one laughs at the exchange. Ouch.
- What would a win mean for Roy Nelson? "Would mean a lot." Putting a UFC champion under his belt would be huge simply because he's a legend who's been around for over a decade.
- Mir says with Brock out, the winner of Junior dos Santos vs. Shane Carwin will determine the "true" number one contender to the heavyweight title. Says his fight against Nelson will go a long way in proving who is next in line.
- Mir says he has no problem with getting in the cage with friends. Says if his wife got in the cage with him, he would try to knock her out and choke her unconscious. Jesus, Frank. Goes on to say all will be well with Roy as long as there are no nefarious activities. He'll also weigh in right around 265-pounds for this fight.
- White gets asked about the crossover of UFC stars into film. He says he likes it and it doesn't bother him. The beef between he and Rampage had more to do with timing. Says he thought Hamill's movie was outstanding.
- Who would play Jackson in a movie about him? "Not sure about my child years but maybe 50 Cent could play the adult Rampage ... I hope."
- Dana is asked about the heavyweight division but says Mir laid it all out perfectly. Also says that Frankie Edgar and Gray Maynard 3 will happen just as soon as they both get healthy. Sounds like he's ready to get it in and done.
- Nelson is asked about any animosity and says there won't be any hugging before a match or during. "This is a sport."
- Mir says he doesn't need to fake anything. He doesn't have to dislike you to want to punch you. "It's the same thing as a football tackle."
- White is asked the same question and he says, "It is what it is." Goes into his usual spiel of guys needing to win. Says he's not a big fan of guys touching gloves and hugging. Shane Mosley vs. Manny Pacquiao was a high-priced sparring match, he claims. He likes fights like Nick Diaz vs. Paul Daley.
- Mir and Nelson talk more about the friendship and fighting situation. Words are spoken.
- White is asked what made Rampage vs. Hamill an attractive match-up. Dana says he loves guys who are "hungry" and want big match-ups like Matt wanted against Quinton. But a lot goes into it, like timing and who is fighting who. So it worked out.
- Is Jon Jones facing Rampage or Lyoto Machida? White says "we gotta see what's going to happen before we can make anything in the future." That's called a stock answer, ladies and gents. Goes on to say Jackson is one of the best in the world and Jones is the champ. So ... yeah.
- Helwani is shown in the crowd while Karyn Bryant is asking a question and he's squirming in his seat like he has to take a piss. Best part of the presser so far.
- White starts talking about how he likes people who overcome things and says Santiago was a monster after he was cut by UFC, winning 11 in a row and working his way back into UFC. "Those are exactly the kind of guys we're looking for."
- Rampage is asked about his retirement and what he's planning over the next few years. He says he hasn't given a whole lot of thought into it recently. He doesn't plan on fighting past 35, though. Decided that years ago. He's got more he wants to do ... like finger-painting. Made a peacock the other day and it was "beautiful."
- Does Rampage coming in lighter for this fight change his perspective on training in the future? Nope. Just means the weight cut will be easier. Jackson says he's sick and tired of his lifestyle of getting heavy between fights and that it was a kick in the ass when he couldn't fight Shogun Rua for the title due to being out of shape. Says he misses his abs and he's excited about this fight and how in shape he is for it.
- Any pressure on Brian Stann for people that may tune in for the Memorial Day show just to see him? No; he's got everything to gain and not much to lose in this fight. He loves fighting and he enjoys it. He'll try to go out and finish the fight but mostly he just tries to go out and enjoy every minute he's in the cage. Says for 15 minutes he in the Octagon, fighters are "gods in there."
- Kevin Iole brings up Bernard Hopkins winning a title at the age of 46 in boxing. Asks Rampage if he's for sure leaving at the age of 35. Jackson says he always said that he "wanted" to retire at that age. He keeps it real about his drive to do what he does. Says he's putting his little sister through college and he wants to take care of his family and wants to be able to continuously afford to do so. If he needs to fight after 35 to continue doing that, he will. But he wants to bail at that age.
- Rampage doesn't want to be the guy who is fighting out there because he has to. Gets a good laugh when he says he knows he'll need lawyer fees for some of his kids later in life. That was actually pretty funny.
- Last question is for Hamill. What does it mean to be a role model for the deaf community. They finally get a good microphone in front of him and he laughs about the fact that no one could hear him. Says he does his best to represent the deaf community well.
Live stream and replay courtesy of UFC.com.