Former UFC light heavyweight champion Quinton “Rampage” Jackson defeated fellow former light heavyweight champion Lyoto “The Dragon” Machida via split-decision last night in the main event of UFC 123. While MMA fans continue to debate over who won last night’s main event, UFC President Dana White has no doubt that Rampage won the fight and stated at the UFC 123 post-fight press conference that a rematch between the two wasn’t necessary.
“I had Rampage winning that fight two rounds to one,” White stated after the event. “I scored that fight for Rampage.”
Reminiscent of Machida’s hotly disputed first contest against current champion Mauricio “Shogun” Rua, the story of last night’s bout was Machida’s elusive countering against Jackson’s aggressive offense.
Throughout the first round Jackson looked to engage with a circling Machida, doing little better than grazing the Brazilian karateka. Jackson engaged the clinch more than once, but was never able to do much from that position. All told, the two fighters landed close to the same amount and, for that reason, the first round could have easily been scored a draw.
The second round was mostly more of the same, with a successful takedown attempt and a few solid punch combinations landed giving a slight edge to Jackson.
The third, however, was all Machida. “The Dragon” stung Jackson with a punch and shortly after scored a takedown. He eventually established mount and rolled for an armbar, prompting Jackson to attempt his trademark slam. Machida avoided the slam and pulled Jackson back to the ground, where he tried for a leg lock and possibly an omoplata before the bell rang.
After the fight was over, Jackson raised Machida’s hand and acted genuinely surprised when he was named the victor… an act that upset his boss.
“‘Rampage’ and I are getting along, but he’s pissing me off again,” White admitted after the event. “He is slumping down and holding up the other guy’s hand and acting like he lost. I thought he won.”
Full full results of last night’s event, click here.
Thanks to Mark Wayne for contributing to this article.