Jared Hamman entered his UFC 111 bout against Rodney Wallace with a single goal in mind. He wanted redemption for the knockout loss he suffered in his debut with the promotion at UFC 105.
And the light heavyweight certainly found the redemption he so adamantly sought when he stepped back into the cage against Wallace on the preliminary card of UFC 111. The fight, which would later be aired on the pay-per-view portion of the broadcast, earned the two participants Fight of the Night honors after three brutal rounds of back-and-forth brawling.
Hamman edged out Wallace on the judges’ scorecards, taking home the unanimous decision victory and rebounding after his unfortunate debut loss to Alexander Gustafsson.
Redemption was his.
“I was really glad with the way UFC 111 went, because the way UFC 105 went, I didn’t want to go down like that,” Hamman says. “When UFC 111 came around, I was really excited for that fight, and most of my fights are going to be like that. That’s just my personality. I just go out there and fight hard. I’m assuming this fight is going to be the exact same way.”
While the victory over Wallace certainly did bolster Hamman’s stock – he avoided a potential release from the UFC, while being one of the two fighters in what was considered by UFC officials as the best fight of the evening – Hamman now is ready to dive back into the cage at “UFC Fight Night: Marquardt vs. Palhares” this Wednesday against an opponent he is not surprised to be matched up against.
“(Kyle) Kingsbury kind of fought in the same circuit, the same area as I did,” Hamman says. “I thought, ‘I bet you one day I’m going to fight him.’ Later on, it turns out he’s in the UFC and I’m in the UFC, and we’re fighting. I kind of knew this was going to happen a long time ago.”
The match up with Kingsbury was obviously of little surprise to Hamman. It was almost strange how expectant he was that this fight would come together at some point.
However, as certain as the light heavyweight was in the fact that he would eventually fight Kingsbury, he is equally confident that the fight is going to be one of the best on the card. Oddly enough, Hamman attributes his opponent and his background in football as the reason this is a potential Fight of the Night.
“I was a defensive football player and Kyle was a defensive football player, so it’s going to be a battle with the way our mindsets are,” says Hamman. “In football, your coaches push you and push you. Anyone that plays football knows that your coaches are your disciplinarians. They push you as hard as you can go and don’t let you quit. I’ve brought that mindset into mixed martial arts.”
Hamman’s experience in football may account for a large portion of the success he has found in mixed martial arts, but there is certainly something else that has separated him from the many of the sport’s hopefuls looking for a shot in the UFC. The hard-nosed fighter now works to continue to keep his spot on the UFC roster and rise in the light heavyweight division and he knows that is no easy task with the level of competition in the division. But that is why he loves his spot in the sport’s top promotion.
“It’s a chance to fight at the top level against the top guys,” says Hamman. “It’s a challenge every single time. If you are fighting guys that you’re supposed to beat, basically it’s not as fun. I want a guy that’s going to come in there and try to knock my head off. Every fight in the UFC is going to be like that.”
And Hamman thinks that his upcoming fight against Kingsbury will be no exception. When he looks at his opponent, he sees the aggressive nature, strength, heart, and undying desire to succeed that he sees in himself. Those are just a few reasons Hamman can’t help but be extremely excited for their “UFC Fight Night 22” match up.
“He’s strong and he’s explosive and he looks to be aggressive,” says Hamman. “That fires me up. That gets me going. I like a good fight, man. I honestly love to battle. I’m excited for the fight. I know he’s going to come at it, I know I’m going to come at it. It will hopefully be a Fight of the Night.”