Rampage Jackson beat Lyoto Machida by split decision at UFC 123 in the Palace of Auburn Hills Saturday night. Rampage won two rounds to one on two scorecards while Machida won two rounds on the third card. Most people gave Jackson the first two rounds but it was nearly impossible not to give the third to Machida, who landed a flurry of punches, knees, and kicks on Jackson, in addition to scoring a takedown that round. It was the late assault by Machida that made Rampage think he lost the fight as you could tell by his reaction during the post-fight announcement. Check out his face and tell me he wasn’t shocked:
During his post-fight interview, Rampage praised Machida endlessly saying Lyoto “whipped [his] ass.” Jackson also said a rematch was in order for Machida, and that’s a good thing. There wasn’t a person watching the fight who didn’t want to see another two rounds of action.
Though Machida dominated the third round of the fight, it’s hard to say he won it outright. By being the aggressor, Rampage barely had the edge the first two rounds. His efforts to escape an arm bar late in the fight ensured he won the decision considering Machida was awfully close to getting a submission. While some people will disagree about who won the fight, there is one thing we can all agree on: seeing a full five rounds would have been fulfilling.