Image via Esther Lin of MMA Fighting
It wasn't pretty, but it was effective. Matt Hamill made his return to the octagon against Roger Hollett in their light heavyweight bout at UFC 152 tonight, and it was pretty much all Hamill. Matt used takedowns to control the bout and almost finished it in the first with a bevy of ground strikes, but gassed a bit after that and not a whole lot happened. Hamill took all three cards with scores of 30-27, 30-27, and 29-28.
Hamill came out quickly, but it was Hollett who landed the first significant strike of the fight - a right hook. Hamill landed some kicks and looked to come forward, but couldn't get much going. Hollett kept trying to go back to the big right hook but couldn't land it again. Hamill scooped a single and took Hollett down against the cage with 90 seconds to go in the round. Hamill started smashing Hollett with lefts while Hollett just turtled. Hamill continued to pound away until Hollett finally powered his way back to his feet. Hollett landed a knee and a nice shot to the body at the end of the round.
Hollett went to the body with punches, and threw a spinning back kick at the start of the second stanza. Hollett charged in with a running knee but got taken down. Hollett got up, but the round was pretty slow otherwise. Hollett went back to the body attack and landed a nice leg kick. Hamill looked like he gassed himself out with his first round barrage on the ground. Hollett looked for a spinning attack but got dumped on the ground for his troubles at the end of the round.
Hollett was the aggressor early in the third on a tired Hamill. Hamill got a takedown about a minute into the round. Hamill took his back and rode away, landing rights to Hollett's head while he turtled. Hollett finally escaped and landed a back elbow to the head. Hamill responded with an aggressive double leg takedown. Not much happened on the ground, so the referee stood them up with a minute to go. Hamill got another takedown, and round out the rest of the fight on top.