UFC 123 Results: Rampage Jackson Wins, What Does It Mean For Lyoto Machida?
UFC 123 is in the books and it was quite an enjoyable event with only one real dud fight on the main card.
The main event of the evening was Rampage Jackson against Lyoto Machida and it was a good, very close fight that if the decision had gone the other way I doubt anyone would be complaining.
Rampage got the split decision victory and he seemed to be as shocked as anyone that he got the decision.
For Machida, this was his second consecutive loss. In this fight, his "defensive aggressiveness" style really seemed to work against him.
He had a moment in the third round where he appeared to figure something out and he attacked. Rampage immediately fought back and landed punches of his own.
If Machida was the aggressor in this fight, as opposed to Rampage, he likely would have won the decision. That was really the only separating factor between the two men. Rampage got a takedown in the second and landed a solid uppercut but those were really the only differences in the fight.
This wasn't a fight where you were watching it and said that "This is the end of Lyoto Machida." It was just a night where is style didn't work well enough against the guy that he was fighting against. Because Rampage is such an in your face kind of fighter that was the separating factor.
So where does Machida go from here?
In the post-fight interview, Rampage said that he has to give Machida a rematch because this fight was so close. I wouldn't be opposed to seeing another fight between the two men.
Their styles clash so much that it made for an entertaining fight. Now that Machida has seen Rampage in person and knows what he can expect it can work to his benefit in a rematch. He can change his gameplan up just a little bit he would be able to win a rematch.
Lyoto, despite losing two straight fights, still has a lot left in him. He is at a crossroads in his career, what he did so well for so long might not be working quite as well because he is a little bit older and maybe not quite as quick as he used to be with his style.
The key for him will be whether or not he can change up his style enough so that he can adapt some new techniques that will allow him to remain a contender for the light heavyweight championship. If he can work on those things, he will be fine.