UFC 123 Results: Quinton 'Rampage' Jackson Slips Past Lyoto Machida in Split Decision

via Esther Lin for FanHouse

Even Quinton Jackson thought Lyoto Machida won the fight.

"Machida whipped my ass tonight," Jackson said after the fight and raised his opponent's hand immediately at the end of the fight. "Even though I don't want to, I think an immediate rematch would be the fair thing."

Machida was gracious after the fight and said, via translator Ed Soares, that the judges saw Rampage winning the fight and that was what happened. 

Machida scored the only knock down serious blows of the fight with a third round combination that put Jackson on his back staggered Jackson and drove him back against the fence. He also got the mounted position and threatened with the only serious submission attempt of the night.

Yet again MMA judging has handed the wrong man the win. Perhaps there is an element of karma since most thought that Lyoto Machida lost his first fight against Shogun Rua but escaped with an unjust decision. 

Many will say that a fight of this importance between former champions and top contenders should have been a five round fight. It would certainly have given the fighters a better chance to clearly determine who is the better man.

Jackson came out and took the center of the cage. He seemed to be mimicking Shogun's style of walking down Machida but still forcing him to counter. Machida scored first with a series of leg kicks. Announcer Joe Rogan noted that Machida landed with his feet Karate style rather than his shins like most MMA fighters who train Muay Thai striking. Rampage began to chase Lyoto down and came in swinging. Machida tied him up. Jackson landed some foot stomps and body punches against the fence. Jackson landed an uppercut on the break. Machida with a body kick. Rampage with a right hand to the head. Machida with a body kick forces Jackson to tie up. Against the fence he repeated the grinding attack. Throwing stomps, body punches and foot stomping. Machida reversed and forced Jackson againt the fence then escaped. Rampage stalked Machida down again firing punches but not landing. Machida with a leg kick that Rampage answered with a series of hooks that missed. 

Jackson came forward but Machida landed first with a knee to the body. Jackson charged in an clinched. More knees to the leg, foot stomps and body punches. Machida reversed and took a low blow from a knee. Machida took a very short break. Jackson threatened a kick and missed with a left. Again Jackson clinched and landed knees to the body. Machida quickly reversed but Jackson took him down. Machida worked to cage crawl back to his feet and got back up. Jackson threw a right on the break but missed. More over under clinching, this time at Machida's initiation. A big knee to the body from Rampage and an uppercut followed by a hook. Machida landed a knee to the body on the break but then ate an uppercut from Jackson. Leg kick from Machida. Another clinch. Machida worked for a trip but Jackson fought it off. Jackson chased Machida but at the very end of the round Machida seemed to trip Jackson up at the very end of the round and fired a late high kick that he immediately apologized for.

Jackson threw leg kick to open the third. Machida answered. Jackson lunged in behind a right. Leg kick from Jackson. Jackson coming forward behind a combination but from too far away. Machida dances away. Machida taged Rampage and hurt him. He lunged in behind a barrage of strikes. Rampage fired back and landed but Machida quickly took him down. Machida lay in Jackson's half guard. Jackson threw elbows to the thigh. Machida began trying to pass but Jackson held on to half guard. Machida worked for a kimura. He threw elbows to Rampage's thigh then passed to side control. From there he quickly got full mount. He then attacked Jackson's left arm and Jackson tried for a slam. Machida escaped and they returned to their feet. Machida initiated a clinch with 30 seconds left. Machida took him down and attacked a leg but Jackson escaped and Lyoto worked his rubber guard at the end of the fight. 

The two former light heavyweight champs met at a cross roads in their careers. Both men entered UFC 123 coming off a loss. Rampage dropped a decision to Rashad Evans at UFC 114. Machida was KTFO'd by Mauricio Rua, aka Shogun, to lose the title at UFC 113. 

The winner returns to the thick of the hunt for the UFC title. The loser will have to re-evaluate and work to regain his status in the UFC. 

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