Rampage Jackson edges Lyoto Machida in UFC 123
Another UFC event has come and gone. They seem to be held every week or two now. In this one, UFC 123 at the Palace in Auburn Hills, Michigan, we saw Quinton “Rampage” Jackson earn a close split decision win over Lyoto “The Dragon” Machida. Both fighters are former light heavyweight champions and put on a pretty entertaining fight.
Machida, smartly, wanted to stay on the outside during the fight to keep Jackson at a distance. He was also pretty selective with his shots as he didn’t want to be caught off guard in a counter attack and taken down to the mat, Jackson fought back with some flurries and landed the harder shots during the first two rounds and that’s what earned him the decision in the close bout as Machida clearly took the third round. But he’s probably regretting waiting so long to get going now as he came out on the wrong side of the decision. The scores were 29-28, and 29-28 for Jackson and 29-28 for Machida.
The fight started off pretty slowly with Machida throwing a few inside leg kicks. A couple of minutes in, Rampage threw a flurry while Machida was trying to throw a kick and was off balance. This backed him up across the octagon.
Jackson went on the attack in the second round and closed in by clinching Machida. He landed a good knee, but Machida spinned and put Jackson into the cage. Jackson then turned and took Machida down. However, he was up again pretty quickly with his back to the cage. Jackson connected with a fine right uppercut however he missed with the follow-up left hook. Just before the round ended, Machida rocked Jackson with a solid shot, but he was on his feet when the bell ended the round.
Machida was the aggressor in the last round and landed several heavy shots that had his opponent covering up. Machida was wearing him down and looking to finish him off, but Jackson began to fight back and land several blows. Machida then took Jackson to the mat but his attempt to submit him with a kimura failed. Machida took side control then mounted Jackson with about 90 seconds to go and tried to end it with an arm bar.
But Jackson lifted him up and the two men were back on their feet trading shots until Machida clinched him and they were both down on the mat again with Jackson on top of him when the final bell sounded.
After the fight Jackson said he thought Machida took the decision, but the judges and Dana White didn’t agree. It was a good bout and a rematch could be possible in the future.