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Rampage Jackson outpoints Lyoto Machida in a Split Decision victory
Quinton Rampage Jackson made a huge statement by defeating the fellow Former UFC Light Heavyweight Champion Lyoto Machida via a Split Decision, at the main event of UFC 123 in Detroit, Michigan.
Walking in to the PRIDE tune, Rampage showed up in an excellent shape, with sights on bouncing back from a disappointing defeat against Rashad Evans. Rampage opened the fight aggressively, headhunting Machida inside the Octagon. As for Machida, the Brazilian delivered a few leg kicks in the first minutes of the fight, but was mostly concentrated on figuring out Jackson’s striking range. As soon as Rampage went closer, Machida was looking for a clinch, forcing Rampage to lose valuable energy. I scored the first round 10-9 Rampage, for aggressiveness, Octagon control and more effective strikes.
Second Round continued the pattern of the first, with Lyoto Machida being slightly more aggressive. “The Dragon” delivered a good knee to the body, and a few well-timed strikes. But again, Rampage had full control inside the cage, landing good strikes and getting a takedown, which in my eyes, secured him a 10-9 victory in the Second Round.
We saw a whole different Machida in Round 3. Karate extraordinaire went aggressive, winning a brutal exchange with Rampage in the first part of the round. Machida took the action to the ground with a perfect takedown, before firing almost-successful Kimura and Armbar attempts. Rampage attempted to slam Machida during an armbar attempt, but the deciding “Dragon” released the hold, probably preventing from the fans to see Rampage-Arona 2.
Machida clearly won the third round 10-9, but it was not enough as judges scored the contest 29-28, 28-29, 29-28 in favor of Rampage Jackson. Good decision in my opinion. Machida’s style lost him a fight, as judges finally gave cedit for effective strikes, aggression and Octagon control.
Personally, I don’t know if rematch is necessary here. Rampage vs. Bader/Jones is much better for MMA, UFC and Rampage himself.
Photo: Tracy Lee for Yahoo! Sports