10 Thoughts on UFC 123 Rampage vs. Machida (Rampage Jackson, Lyoto Machida, BJ Penn, Matt Hughes)

Hello all, I’m Pulse Glazer who many of you may know from the wrestling and comics sections of Inside Pulse. I’m a relatively casual UFC fan (which is to say I follow all the news, but don’t live on the Sherdog forums) and will be doing 10 Thoughts on UFC shows, kicking off with UFC 123. For a full review of the show, click here.

1. I ordered the UFC with Machida vs. Sokoudjou from UFC 79, my first show seriously following UFC, and absolutely cleaned up betting on Machida, whose style and strategy I loved. He’s been my favorite since, so I’ve been hugely looking forward to this. I was never a huge Rampage fan, honestly, until A-Team, which I consider better than Expendables and has me rooting for him more often than not (along with him being a wrestling fan). As much as I love Machida, I figured Rampage, if he trained well, had this, as both cautious men on their feet would likely cancel one another out, while Rampage was an expert at facing BJJ guys in Pride and would probably manage to control enough to get the win.

2. Looks like I was right, but I underestimated Machida a bit both on his feet and on the ground. He controlled the pace an awful lot and, were this a five round fight, almost certainly would have defeated Rampage. I’d really love to see main events of shows move to five rounds. 3 is just too short for a real concrete decision. Rampage won, and given what we saw, should have, but it felt an awful lot coming out of the fight like Machida was superior.

3. So, where do we go from here? Does Rampage get Shogun or do we get him vs. Machida again for something more conclusive? I’d really prefer Rampage vs. Machida again, mostly because I think Shogun would kill either guy at this point, so some more top notch fights before we get that would help.

4. This fight is also why I wish state athletic commissions was more liberal giving out 10-8 rounds. Machida dominated the final round, while Rampage barely won the first two. Shouldn’t that even itself out or is it just me?

5. I’ll admit after the Frankie Edgar fights I thought BJ Penn was basically done. I was wrong. Edgar just ran circles around him and rather than try anything new, BJ seemed content to just stand there and lose. With that little seeming motivation, I thought he was done. Then he killed Matt Hughes with a wicked punch and I was forced to re-evaluate.

6. Again, where the hell does BJ go from here. We already had him vs. Edgar twice. And no one wants to see GSP lay on him for five rounds again. Maybe BJ vs. Koscheck after next month? That would get my money.

7. Matt Hughes at this point is doing just what he should. He needs to face mostly up and coming names and, when he wins, face a bigger name. He’s so awesome even at his age that when someone beats him it still makes a name for them, and he really can’t own the top of the division anymore, so he’s being used perfectly. A country boy will survive.

8. Phil Davis’ creative Kimura, coming around the back, is one of the cooler ways to finish I’ve seen in awhile, although he didn’t look good for much of the rest of the fight. It will take a lot for me to see him or Tim Boetsch really competing for a title.

9. What BJJ tourney did Falcao win? He wasn’t really impressive on the ground.

10. Guest Thought from Jon Kirschner: 10. For some odd reason, there seems to be a doubt that Rampage Jackson won the first round. For those of you who think that Machida won, you need to know the age old saying of “leg kicks don’t win fights”. If you walk into the octagon planning to implement a game plan like Forrest Griffin, Matt Hughes or Jose Aldo where all you do is kick the leg to the point where your opponent can’t walk on it then you will clearly win the fight. In Lyoto Machida’s case though, whatever weak leg kicks he threw in round one were quickly abandoned when Rampage started pressing him. Rampage’s cage control and aggressiveness not only won him round one, it won him the fight.

That’s all for now. If you enjoyed, please leave a comment below (or if you didn’t, that works, too) and expect these immediately following UFC PPVs from now on!

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