LAS VEGAS - MAY 29: UFC fighter Rashad Evans (L) battles UFC fighter Quinton "Rampage" Jackson (R) during their Light Heavyweight fight at UFC 114: Rampage vs. Rashad at the MGM Grand Hotel on May 29, 2010 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Jon Kopaloff/Zuffa, LLC via Getty Images) (Photo by Jon Kopaloff/Zuffa LLC/Getty Images)

UFC 130: Thiago Silva Out, Rashad Evans In Against Rampage Jackson?

Live updates about the breaking news surrounding the fight between Thiago Silva and Rampage Jackson at UFC 130.

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7 Total Updates since February 9, 2011
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UFC 130: Rampage Jackson Now Slated To Face Matt Hamill

The game of musical chairs continues today with news that Matt Hamill was contacted about a potential fight with Quinton Jackson at UFC 130 and has agreed to step in for Thiago Silva and Rashad Evans. Hamil was scheduled to face wrestling phenom Phil Davis at UFC 129 in Toronto, but the fight was pulled yesterday from the promotion's official website. Now we know why. Silva most recently showed Brandon Vera the door during a dominating performance at UFC 125. With rumors of Silva having a questionable result following his standard drug screening with the Nevada State Athletic Commission, it looks like the UFC is moving on without him.

This is kind of a bummer. Silva and Rampage made a great matchup, and I would have been perfectly fine with Evans vs. 'Page II. Jackson typically does pretty well with dominant wrestlers, so I'm not sure how Hamill approaches this fight. Hamill's brawling style isn't going to get it done in this one.

Stay tuned to SB Nation MMA as more becomes available. 

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UFC 130: Rampage Jackson vs. Rashad Evans Betting Odds

That didn’t take long. With news breaking that a UFC 130 fight between former UFC light heavyweight champion Quinton Jackson and Thiago Silva was in jeopardy and that Rashad Evans may fill in for the Brazilian, the oddsmakers got started.

Now both Bodog.com and Sportsbook.com have offered odds on the potential bout. Most notably, they came to the exact same conclusion, making Evans the favorite and Jackson the underdog:

Rashad Evans -185
Quinton Rampage Jackson +155

How do these odds differ from those leading into their first bout at UFC 114? Before that fight oddsmakers considered them to be dead even.

Evans won their first meeting, but I actually think these odds are off. Aside from a third round scare, there’s no denying Evans did won handily. But that was a rusty, improperly prepared Rampage. I tend to think Jackson is back in something of a fighting groove and will be much more able to stop the takedowns or clinching from Evans.

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UFC 130: Thiago Silva's Management Stands Firm

The saga continues. Yesterday we learned that while talk of Quinton Jackson vs. Rashad Evans fighting in a rematch at UFC 130 was premature, it wasn’t coming out of thin air either.

According to MMA Fighting, Thiago Silva and his management team are standing firm in their assertion the bout between Silva and Rampage is still on. They told the website “All we know is that it’s still processing. We haven’t gotten any positive. We haven’t gotten any negative. At this point we have no reason to expect that it’s going to be anything but a negative result – negative meaning Thiago’s clear.”

The only truly frustrating portion of this news is not the speculative portion. As we discussed previously, the UFC is will within their rights to focus on finding an alternate fight at the first sign of trouble. While some fans groan about a Rampage vs. Evans rematch, the bout would sell. Instead, I’m more concerned about the time line being employed by the Nevada State Athletic Commission (NSAC). We don’t really know when we expect to hear anything one way or the other. I suspect once the matter is resolved we will hear either way. Fans want to know who Rampage is certifiably fighting. For now, though, we have to play the waiting game.

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UFC 130: Rampage Jackson, Rashad Evans Slap Each Other In Night Club

As if there wasn't already enough heat, now there's more. While some fans have expressed dismay at the idea Thiago Silva may be removed from UFC 130's card, it appears there is unfinished business. Dave Meltzer of The Wrestling Observer reports the two were in a night club together over the weekend and when they ran into each other, problems arose. To wit:

The real main event for UFC 130 may end up being a rematch with Quinton Jackson vs. Rashad Evans.  Jackson is currently scheduled to face Thiago Silva, and as of a few hours ago, that was still scheduled, although those in Silva's camp admitted they had a bad feeling about it.  The Nevada State Athletic commission a few hours ago listed 14 fighters from the 1/1 show whose urine tests came back clean.  They also said there is one test pending.  By process of elimination, given that every other name tested but Silva was listed as clean, that would say his is pending.  Evans is apparently being looked at for the sport in what would be a grudge match.  Jackson and Evans were at a night club in Las Vegas over the weekend and Jackson slapped Evans, who slapped him back before the situation was broken up.

Promoting a fight often results in a serious descent into idiocy. Or it results into nothingness. The hype for Michael Bisping vs. Wanderlei Silva was a moment where both fighters professed to hate one another and yet, when pressed for a reason were reduced to "I don't know, I just do". In this instance, however, the dispute between Evans and Jackson appears to still carry real heat. To be cliche about it, there is unfinished business between the two. If the UFC does have to go the route of putting this rematch on, I suspect the promotion won't be as labored as some fans fear.

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UFC 130: More On Thiago Silva Drug Screening From UFC 125

The hits keep on coming for Thiago Silva. This morning there was no issue with his fight against Rampage Jackson. Now there's all sorts of problems. It's hard to get a straight answer on what the screening of his urine sample that was taken at UFC 125 actually entails, but we've got another update:

The NSAC tested both Edgar and Maynard, as well as Chris Leben, Brian Stann, Brandon Vera, Phil Baroni, Brad Tavares, Jeremy Stephens, Dustin Poirier, Diego Nunes, Daniel Roberts, Jacon Volkmann, Dong Hyun Kim and Clay Guida. Those test results were all declared negative.

As MMAjunkie.com reported earlier today, Kizer confirmed that main-card winner Thiago Silva also submitted a pre-fight drug screen at UFC 125, which indicates the outstanding drug test likely belongs to the Brazilian slugger. However, Kizer was unable to confirm that Silva's specimen was the sample that was "still processing," or what that status might indicate.

I cannot think of who else it could be. So, for the moment, let's assume that it's Silva. If we take that as a given, it only makes sense the UFC would immediately jump into action to get potential replacements to fill in. Given the timeline of his injury (6 to 8 weeks of rest) and the timing of the card (late May) as well as the heat of their previous match-up, a second fight between Rashad Evans and Quinton Jackson is one of the more plausible alternatives.

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UFC 130: Thiago Silva In Jeopardy Of Being Removed From Fight With Rampage Jackson

Thiago Silva actually is in trouble of losing the fight against Rampage. MMA Junkie has the scoop:

MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) has confirmed with multiple sources close to the event that Silva's participation in the May 28 card is in jeopardy, despite the fighter's insistence that all is well on the home front.

However, multiple sources confirmed with MMAjunkie.com indications that while preliminary discussions with Rashad Evans to replace Silva are underway, it's far too early to consider the rematch a done deal.

...

Of significant potential interest, the Nevada State Athletic Commission has yet to release the drug screens from the night of Silva's most recent fight, a UFC 125 win over Brandon Vera that took place Jan. 1 in Las Vegas.

Nevada State Athletic Commision executive director Keith Kizer confirmed with MMAjunkie.com that the commission is still investigating at least one sample from the event. While Kizer could not confirm whether or not one of those samples belonged to Silva, the NSAC executive did confirm that Silva was among the UFC 125 fighters who submitted a pre-fight screen.

Then "Showdown" Joe tweeted this:

As per NSAC Drug testing: "Edgar, Maynard, Leben, Stann, Vera, Baroni, Tavares, Stephens, Poirier, Nunes, Roberts, Volkmann, Kim and Guida.  All those tests were negative. We are still processing another athlete’s urine sample from that event."

While they can't "confirm" it's Silva, it appears to be him by a simple process of elimination. More as this story develops.

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UFC 130: Thiago Silva Out, Rashad Evans In Against Rampage Jackson?

This story deserves to be properly updated.

We told about what happened earlier today. MMA Weekly issued a report suggesting Thiago Silva was off the UFC 130 card with Quinton Jackson because of an injury. Then his people shot back via Tatame magazine that Silva was not injured and that they hadn't heard a thing about off the card and were looking forward to facing Rampage at the fight.

Since then the story has taken a few twists.

First, Rampage's people at the Wolfslair hadn't heard a thing about it:

Jackson’s representatives at The Wolfslair also reacted with surprise when contacted by Fighters Only, saying it was the first they had heard of it.

Then Ariel Helwani got in contact with Rashad Evans' people who said they had not yet been offered the fight:

According to Rashad Evans' manager @malkikawa, Evans has not been offered a fight against Rampage Jackson at UFC 130.

Ok, interesting. The rub is this: Damon Martin from Weekly is a solid reporter with legitimate sources. I've got no idea how this report got flubbed or if the people involved are playing coy for strategic effect. More details as they come in.

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