Immediately after Quinton “Rampage” Jackson took a razor-thin split decision victory over Lyoto Machida at UFC 123, “The Dragon’s” fanboys instantly cried foul. Even Rampage flashed the deer-caught-in-the-headlights look after Bruce Buffer announced he had edged MMA’s most elusive light heavyweight for the win.
“My trainers are in there and told me I won the fight, but when I was in the fight, I just had a one-track mind to knock him out,” Rampage shared at the post-fight press conference. “In the 3rdRound, he came at me so much, I forget what happened in the first two rounds.
“It’s one of those things where at the time I thought I was getting my ass whooped because I was just on the ground taking a flurry to my face. That fight was so close, it was unfair for Machida. Even though I don’t want to, I have to give him a rematch.”
After riding a perfect 16-0 record to capturing the 205-pound crown, Machida has now found himself on the wrong end of a two-fight skid. Although he was clearly disappointed in the verdict, the Brazilian was classy in defeat and was more than down for a mulligan if one were presented.
“That’s gonna be up to the UFC, but I’d like an immediate rematch also,” Machida stated. “We’ll just have to see what the UFC has to say.”
Now that the card’s featured fighters have shared their thoughts, it’s time for the only voice that matters to drop his two cents on the subject.
“No. No. As far as I’m concerned, and apparently, as far as the judges are concerned, Rampage won that fight,” Octagon president Dana White emphatically stated. “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.”
While most believe a devastating finish by either of the former champs would earn the victor next dibs, White wasn’t quite prepared to anoint a new light heavyweight top contender after the decision was rendered.
“Rampage’s in the mix (for a title shot),” White vaguely said. “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.”