UFC 123 Results
The third round proves fruitless for Jackson, missing leg kicks and combos early in the match, followed immediately by Machida landing a left hook. The match becomes nail-biting as Machida’s takedown of Jackson occurs with three minutes remaining, which he maintains for a minute and thirty seconds before attaining a full-mount of Jackson.
“Rampage” counters his attempted arm bar by lifting him, leaving Machida no choice but to back off. Another takedown results with Jackson on top, which leaves the two men still grappling as the clock runs out.
No one was more surprised about the outcome of the match than the victor, himself, “Rampage” Jackson who later stated, “Machida whooped my ass tonight.” He expresses his disappointment in his own performance, despite his laudable win, “My coaches must be so mad at me. I didn’t do what I wanted to do; then he took me down and he bloodied my nose. I consider that an ass-whooping.”
Fighters and Fans Weigh In
Jackson details his theories on the outcome of the fight, “I think [me being the aggressor is] the only thing that earned me a decision. I think that’s what the judges saw — me being aggressive.” Jackson concedes that a rematch is the only fair resolution for Machida; “The fight was so close that it’s unfair for Machida. Even though I don’t want to, I have to give him a rematch.”
In post-match interviews, Machida expresses his own desire for a rematch and politically handles his opinion of the outcome; “I did the best that I could tonight, but if the judges thought that Quinton won, then that’s what they saw. Although “that’s up to the UFC” Machida advocates “an immediate rematch” against Jackson.
Dana White, president of UFC, is not as interested in a rematch as Jackson and Machida are; “No. No. As far as I’m concerned, and apparently, as far as the judges are concerned, Rampage won that fight.”
White sees the outcome of the fight as fair and following the typical outline for determining a victor, not warranting a rematch; “I don’t play favorites. I call ‘em like I see ‘em. (Rampage) won two rounds. It’s a three-round fight. You won two of them, he won one of them. You’re the winner.”
White does, however, concede to the possibility of a title shot for Jackson, albeit remaining non-committal to the prospect;“He’s in the mix (for a title shot),” said the UFC president. “Those two guys fighting tonight, they’re at the top of the heap of the 205-pound division and Rampage came out the winner tonight.”
Jackson and Machida’s main event left an emotional and torn crowd, as both delivered a strong fight. Although the outcome is highly-debated, it can be universally agreed that the fight was nothing if not well-matched, pitting two equally apt fighters against each other, making for an exciting, suspenseful, and much-discussed fight.
It is hard to say whether Jackson’s hard-won victory or the surprising Cain Velasquez victory at UFC 122 left more discussion, debate, and heated opinions in its wake. After UFC 122 and UFC 123’s main events, fans can only imagine what they have to anticipate from UFC 124: St-Pierre vs. Koscheck 2 in Montreal.