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UFC 123 – Lyoto Machida Vs. Rampage Jackson

We previewed the top three fights in our preview earlier this week. To me, this is one of those cards that might be forgotten because of how big December’s card is going to be, but could surprise some people. The intrigue is in two main events that might not be all that great, but there could be some good stuff underneath, especially George Sotiropoulos and Joe Lauzon.

That fight will start out the card.

1. Joe Lauzon vs. George Sotiropoulos

Lauzon’s boxing looks excellent right out of the gate. It looks like he’s already touched Sotiropoulos’ left eye. Sotiropoulos pulled guard and Lauzon fell right into it, but got out, rolled over and was on top and then rolled over again and nearly was on bottom. Sotiropoulos maneuvered on top and then got into north/south position before getting into side control and then full mount, but whiffed on the arm bar and ate some elbows from Lauzon at the bell.

Wow. Lauzon looked tired. Sotiropoulos got on top of him and just wrenched his arm behind him for a kimura. Lauzon tapped quickly. That was nasty.

Winner: George Sotiropoulos by way of 2nd round submission

2. Phil Davs vs. Tim Boetsch

Davis was testing his stand-up early on with lots of kicks. He threw a couple of head kicks, but Boetsch caught his leg on a couple of the body kicks. At the 2:30 mark, Davis went all wrestling and dominated from that point. Easy round for Davis.

Boetsch was just overmatched. He had a guillotine on after getting taken down, but Davis slipped out. Davis was trying to kimura him, but was too close to the cage to sink it in fully. Instead, he pulled Boetsch’s arm underneath him and had Boetsch lay back on his own arm. Then, with his other hand, Davis grabbed the wrist behind him. It looked like Sting’s old Scorpion Death Drop, except executing a wrist lock from that position.

Winner: Phi Davis by 2nd round submission

3. TJ O’Brien vs. Paul Kelly

O’Brien was using his long legs to leg kick Kelly and also used some great counterpunching. He was outstriking the striker.

Kelly caught him with a left hook and big brother’d him on the ground in a crucifix. O’Brien couldn’t do anything and it was stopped.

Winner: Paul Kelly by way of 2nd round TKO

4. Maiquel Falcao vs. Gerald Harris

Ok, Falcao is the real deal. After three minutes of just staring at each other, Falcao caught Harris with an inside knee and dropped him. He fell on top of him and started with some nasty ground and pound. Then he got his back and had the rear naked choke. Harris didn’t tap and actually got up and fell backward with Falcao on his back. Falcao grabbed his neck as he hit the ground and sunk in a deep rear naked. Harris almost tapped but was saved by the bell. Falcao kept the choke on an extra two seconds.

Harris is in defensive mode. Falcao caught him with a punch and he went down and was just trying to survive. Falcao tried to choke him again, but couldn’t get the right position. Back on their feet, Harris is pretty much only trying to shoot and hold on. Harris pushed him up against the cage and slammed him down, but Falcao got back up quickly. They’re both tired.

And the third round was a bunch of nothing. Harris tried a takedown but didn’t get it. Falcoa didn’t do anything, but Harris couldn’t catch either and if Harris was losing the fight, it was up to him to press the action. Really, they did nothing.

Winner: Maiquel Falcao by way of unanimous decision

The scores were 29-27, 29-28, and 29-28. They didn’t even interview Falcao.

5. BJ Penn vs. Matt Hughes

Penn came out fast, caught a kick, and then threw a short right hand that knocked Matt Hughes out. Penn ran out of the ring like he was the Ultimate Warrior, but was talked into coming back.

Winner: BJ Penn by way of 1st round TKO

6. Dennis Hallman vs. Karo Parisyan

That wasn’t much of a fight. Hallman clipped him with a right hand, Karo went down and Hallman followed him up on the ground to finish it. Let’s just say that he didn’t get hit half as hard as Matt Hughes did. I take that back. He hit him on the side of the head. Was close to the back of the head.

Winner: Dennis Hallman by way of 1st round TKO

7. Lyoto Machida vs. Rampage Jackson

Not much going on in round one. Rampage was willing to eat a leg kick in order to get in there to throw punches. Machida caught him with several leg kicks. Rampage caught him with a short uppercut that was his best shot of the round.

Rampage’s one-dimensional style should get him hurt, but Machida is gun shy. Machida landed two knees to the body and Rampage landed a nice short uppercut. The determining factor for the round might’ve been Rampage’s takedown. Late in the round, Machida tripped Rampage to the ground. I have the fight even going into the last round.

Machida won the third decisively. He caught Rampage and landed some lighting quick strikes against Rampage who was pushed all the way back against the cage. It was the best flurry of the fight. Machida got a takedown and worked himself all the way into mount and went for an armbar. Rampage set him up for the slam, but Machida got out of it before Rampage could get it. Machida got another takedown at the end of the round.

Winner: Rampage Jackson by way of split decision

The scores were 29-28 Machida and 29-28 and 29-28 Jackson.

Jackson says that Machida whooped his ass. And he wants to give him a rematch. How about we take a pass on that one unless one of them wins the title? Rampage actually thinks that the judges got it wrong.

This has to be karmic from him beating Shogun in their first fight right?