Seemingly retired after a lackluster showing against Alexander Gustaffson, Matt Hamill returns to the world's largest fight promotion in his first bout since that Aug. 2011 match tonight (Sat., Sept. 22, 2012) when he takes on Roger Hollett on the main card of the UFC 152: "Jones vs. Belfort" pay-per-view (PPV) from the Air Canada Centre in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
Hollett, meanwhile, who will be making his UFC debut, has shown decent stand-up and aggression, which he'll need against an experienced takedown artist in Hamill, who can control bouts merely by taking opponents down and grinding until they break.
He's done it many times before but can he do it again after so much time away?
Join me after the jump for a complete breakdown of the UFC 152 main card bout pitting Matt Hamill vs. Roger Hollett.
First-time Octagon jitters are always an issue, and Hollett has to get untracked early, using movement and smart striking to close the gap and then get away. Hamill is exceptionally tough in the clinch and manhandles opponents who can't keep him at bay through striking, and he'll whipsaw them to the ground if he gets double underhooks or a solid tie-up in close. It's inconclusive as to how sharp Hamill will be, as he looked terrible against Gustaffson, lacking the explosion and timing that made his game effective in the past. Plus, tactically, Hamill has a tendency to be lazy when things aren't going his way. He doesn't adjust on the fly very well to changing situations and will take minutes and even rounds off if he isn't in his groove.
The UFC likes to build prospects off of proven names, and this fights has all the makings of giving a first-timer an opponent that looks great on paper and not as good during the fight. Hollet's big power and explosive right hand should swing the momentum his way early - he'll have to start strong lest Hamill drag him down into a clinch-takedown-ground-smother contest. Hollet will score big early only to get taken down and overpowered en route to a second-round ground and pound KO for Hamill.
Hamill via knockout
MMAmania.com will provide LIVE round-by-round, blow-by-blow coverage of the main card bouts on fight night (Sat., Sept. 22, 2012), which is slated to air at 10 p.m. ET pay-per-view (PPV). The latest quick updates of the live action will begin to flow earlier than that around 7:15 p.m. ET with the "Prelims" match-ups on Facebook and FX.
See you later!
Jason Probst can be reached at twitter.com/jasonprobst.