The Octagon’s controversy caravan took off once again after Quinton “Rampage” Jackson was handed a split decision win over Lyoto Machida at UFC 123. Thankfully, the Fight Metric will allow us to delve deeper into the numbers with the official box score from Saturday night’s main event.
Perhaps the stat sheet will provide disgruntled fans a better perspective on what the three officials sitting cage-side saw in awarding Rampage the favorable (28-29, 29-28, 29-28) verdict.
“The Dragon” clearly won the final round, but it wasn’t dominant enough to warrant a 10-8 score, so there’s really nothing to argue there. However, the first two stanzas were closely contested and valid arguments could be made from both sides as to who won each of the five-minute intervals.
According to the Octagon’s official number crunchers, Machida landed more significant strikes in the 1stRound, but Rampage more than doubled him in total shots connected. There were no takedowns in the round.
B.A. Baracus landed nearly three times as many total strikes in the middle stanza, with the majority aimed at the body. Rampage also secured a powerful takedown to top things off.
Whether it was these figures, Rampage’s cage aggression for much of their 15-minute affair or whatever else may have influenced the judges’ scores, UFC president Dana White did some simple math in figuring out his winner.
“As far as I’m concerned, and apparently, as far as the judges are concerned, Rampage won that fight,” White emphatically stated at the post-fight press conference. “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.”
Here is the official stat sheet for Rampage vs. Machida (Courtesy of FightMetric.com):