Can you say rematch?
That’s what was on nearly everyone’s mind following the UFC 123: Rampage vs. Machida main event on Saturday night in Detroit.
Quinton “Rampage” Jackson walked out of the Octagon with the victory, but he was leading the charge for a rematch… whether he wanted to or not.
“That fight was so close, it was unfair for Machida,” he told Joe Rogan after the fight. “Even though I don’t want to, I have to give him a rematch.”
From the opening bell, Machida employed his elusiveness, trying to keep Jackson off his mark and out of range. It worked well for most of the opening round. As time dwindled in the opening stanza, however, Jackson started to find his range, landing cleaner and harder shots than Machida.
In round two, it became a different fight. Machida was still elusive, but Jackson did a better job finding his mark. He didn’t control as much of the fight, but showed more aggression and landed more damaging shots than Machida.
Machida was able to mount his most effective attacks in the final round, rocking Jackson with a punch combination and taking him to the mat. Machida passed guard to side control and transition to full mount, pulling off to attempt an armbar, but he couldn’t find the finish.
Jackson was surprised when the scorecards announced him the winner by split decision.
“I think (aggressiveness is) the only thing that earned me a decision,” he said, agreeing with Rogan, “Because Machida whooped my ass tonight.”
Machida was also humble after the fight, albeit in a more subdued manner than Jackson.
“I did the best that I could tonight, but if the judges saw it that Quinton won then I have no problem with that,” said the Brazilian via his interpreter and manager, Ed Soares. But he would accept a rematch.
“That’s gonna be up to the UFC, but I’d like an immediate rematch also. We’ll just have to see what the UFC has to say.”