It was strange, awkward and times plain out boring. However, when all was said and done, Quinton “Rampage” Jackson emerged victorious over Lyoto Machida in the main event of UFC 123 Saturday night via a split decision.
Jackson, a former champion once known for his knockout ability and brute strength, seemed legitimately stumped by Machida’s defensive prowess for much of the match. While he was able to skate by in what could only be described as a battle of differing fighting philosophies, even Jackson had to acknowledge how close the bout really was.
“Machida whipped (me) tonight,” Jackson said after the fight. “I’m so ashamed of myself tonight. He did a great job. I didn’t get to do what I wanted. I say the fight was so close, even though I don’t want to, I have to give him a rematch.”
Jackson was on the offensive for most of the match, running all over the place try to land clean shots at his opponent. Meanwhile, Machida countered Jackson’s efforts at landing strong hits with quick kicks and a noticeably superior ground attack, particularly in the third round.
Nevertheless, the judges seemed to respond to Rampage’s aggressiveness, awarding him the victory.
Machida, for his part, acknowledged his opponent’s win but said that he wanted a rematch as soon as possible.
“I did the best I could tonight, but if the judges say Quinton won, then Quinton won,” he said through an interpreter. “I’d like an immediate rematch also. We’ll see what the UFC has to say.”