Jackson has balked at having to fight Matt Hamill (10-2 MMA, 9-2 UFC) instead of Thiago Silva, then promised to knock Hamill out, then said Hamill has lit a fire under his behind. You could probably tack some pop psychology onto the stages Jackson has gone through in coming to terms with the booking.
"The Hammer" certainly has, and he doesn't blame Jackson for his initial reluctance.
"I don't blame Rampage for thinking that way," Hamill told MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) today during a conference call in support of his fight with Jackson, which takes place next Saturday at UFC 130 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas. "I'm only ranked 17th in the world right now, and I think Rampage should be thinking about fighting the top five guys in the world.
"But the opportunity came up for [me] to face him, and [I] feel that I can beat him. I just want to thank Rampage for giving me the opportunity."
It was an opportunity that was heavily lobbied for by Hamill's trainer, Duff Holmes, after Silva's run-in with the Nevada State Athletic Commission got him scratched from the card this past February.
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