The MGM Grand in Las Vegas, Nevada lends itself as a familiar host as UFC 130: Rampage vs. Hamill kicks off the 2011 summer season. The “All-American” Brian Stann (10-3) finds himself back for another run at the middleweight division, this time against former Sengoku champion Jorge Santiago (22-8). “The Pitbull” Thiago Alves (17-7) answers the challenge tossed out by “The Horror” Rick Story (10-2). “Hapa” Travis Browne (7-0-1) and “The Skyscraper” Stefan Struve (18-4) prepare to lock horns in a heavyweight war. With the lightweight title match pulled off the card due to injury, “The Hammer” Matt Hamill (9-2) gets his first taste as a headliner at a steep price against “Rampage” Quinton Jackson (29-8). In the co-main event, former UFC heavyweight champion Frank Mir (14-5) battles against former International Fight League champion “Big Country” Roy Nelson (15-5). Both men hold a black belt in Jiu-Jitsu to showoff their knowledge on the ground but neither have a problem letting their strikes handle business for them. With something always to gain, a win over a former champion would do wonders for the other’s career.
For all the men and women in uniform serving and fighting each day to protect Americans’ lives and freedom, it seems fitting at the very least that the UFC presents a second installment of Fight for the Troops as a way of saying “thank you”. This Saturday night from Fort Hood, Texas, UFC Fight for the Troops 2 aims to do just that and show both American and worldwide audiences just how grateful citizens are for the troops’ service. Before the card’s main event featuring the explosive “The Young Assassin” Melvin Guillard (25-8-2) versus Jiu-Jitsu wizard Evan Dunham (10-1), undefeated The Ultimate Fighter 10 alum Matt Mitrione (3-0) competes against “The Thrashing Machine” Tim Hague (10-4) in the co-main event, former WEC featherweights George Roop (11-5) and “The Machine” Mark Hominick (18-7) battle it out as a supporting event, and proceeding American Top Team stand-out “Magrinho” Cole Miller (17-4) taking on “Handsome” Matt Wiman (12-5), two of the heavyweight division’s heavy-limbed strikers are set to take the stage at Fort Hood for a stand-up war. On one end of the Octagon will stand the energetically animated yet equally lethal kickboxer in “Hype or Die” Pat Barry (4-3). The opposite side will bear a former King of the Cage contender and concrete-handed “The Mexicutioner” Joey Beltran (10-3). With a majority of both fighters’ bouts ending in a (T)KO, the troops returning back home are promised a fight nothing short of memorable.