Despite a number of takedowns by Lawal, Rampage outstruck his opponent to earn the judges’ nod with scores of 29-28 across the panel.
“He did better than I thought he was going to do,” Jackson said. “I’m not happy with my victory tonight. I wanted to knock King Mo out.”
Lawal scored a takedown within the first moments of the fight. With each attempt by Jackson to return the feet, Lawal almost immediately brought him back down the floor, keeping top position and landing knees. Jackson broke free at near a minute left in the opening round and chased Lawal, landing strikes while moving forward and cutting his opponent open over the left eye.
Rampage’s takedown defense improved in the second round, stopping most shots by his opponent. Lawal backpedaled as Jackson moved forward, with the former UFC champion landing strikes in moments of the round. Lawal went to the clinch to neutralize his opponent, scoring a takedown in the final minute, but Jackson returned to the feet soon after.
Rampage was the first to land blows in the third round, scoring a flurry of punches early on. Lawal continued to turn to takedowns as a way of gaining an advantage, securing one at just under two minutes into the final frame. Jackson was able to return to the feet, fending off further takedown attempts by Lawal, while at the same time dealing with his opponent’s body locks.
So disappointed with his performance, Jackson called for a rematch with Lawal.
King Mo expressed his disagreement with the decision, addressing Jackson in a post-fight rant.
“Rampage, nothing against you, but I beat you,” Lawal said.
With the win at Bellator 120, Jackson extended his winning streak to three and improved his record to 35-11.
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