Photo by Tracy Lee Yahoo! Sports
Nearly everyone had written former UFC light heavyweight champion Tito Ortiz off. While no one regarded former Ortiz-student Matt Hamill as a world beater, most thought he had what it took to give the Huntington Beach Bad Boy fits. Without a shadow of doubt, Ortiz had far more to lose than Hamill.
It turns out Ortiz didn't look half bad. While Hamill looked as adept on the feet as Ortiz, the idea that Hamill was going to boy Ortiz into a stoppage was grossly overstated. Both fights landed significant blows. Ortiz landed harder shots, but Hamill landed more in volume. But the difference was not dramatic and Ortiz seemed prepared for a longer fight.
The second round was Hamill's round. The striking was about equivalent, but the grappling was not. Hamill landed a beautiful takedown and in the course of Ortiz resisting the pass was able to mount the former UFC light heavyweight champion. While there was no major ground and pound the positional dominance was more than enough for Hamill.
The opening first half of the third round lack real action and even caused a chorus of boos. Neither really connected in a major way and Ortiz even shrugged off a Hamill takedown attempt. However, with a minute and thirty seconds left Hamill landed a beautiful double leg takedown. Ortiz was able to nullify any major GNP, but not much else. He couldn't get off the bottom and he couldn't threaten off of his back.
The judges score it 29-28, 29-28 and 30-27 for Matt Hamill.