Wow. It was going to be hard to follow up B.J. Penn's 21-second destruction of Matt Hughes at UFC 123 in Auburn Hills, Mich.
The main event bout between Quinton "Rampage" Jackson and Lyoto "The Dragon" Machida was being sold as "masterful technique" vs. "devastating power." I don't know if it the fight between two former UFC light heavyweight champions lived up to that level of hype.
The first two rounds of this bout lacked anything resembling excitement.
Coming off a main event between Nate Marquardt and Yushin Okami at UFC 122 that many thought was boring, the UFC needed much more action than this fight produced.
Going back to UFC 119, that makes one exciting main event fight in the last five UFC cards: Cain Velasquez's dismantling of Brock Lesnar.
The UFC needs a strong main event fight soon.
In the pre-fight hype stage, Jackson said, "Every single minute of this camp will be focused on technique."
Where did that go?
Joe Rogan called Jackson's style perfectly when he said that Jackson was boxing with a mixed martial artist.
If I recall, Jackson threw one kick and attempted one takedown. If that was the technique he worked on, he needs a new trainer.
The fight was a split decision with two cards going 29-28 to Jackson and one 29-28 for Machida. So, was that the right call?
Jackson did not seem to think so, as he raised Machida's hand in victory after the fight and slumped against the cage.
He could also be seen telling Machida's trainer, "He beat my ass," after the decision was announced.
He seemed surprised to get the win and told Joe Rogan, "Machida whooped my ass tonight."
In the end, I don't think I have a huge problem with the call. The first two rounds could have gone either way, but the third round surely belonged to Machida. Jackson did pursue Machida in the first two rounds and did force what little action there was.
Jackson said he thought a rematch would be fair after the fight.
Will Dana White agree? Will the fans agree? The fight wasn't the greatest and I find it hard to believe that people would line up to see these guys fight again.
If you put the rematch at number two or three on a stacked card it may be worth it, but as a main event on a pay-per-view event? No thanks.
Ryan Bader and Jon Jones will fight at UFC 126 in February. If I was Dana White I would put Jackson against the winner of that fight.
Whoever wins that fight would probably be next in line for a title shot.
I don't see this loss dropping him in the rankings, but I do see him a few fights removed from a title shot. With that in mind, do you give him the loser of Jones vs. Bader?
The winner of that fight would then maybe have one or two more fights before they were back in contention for a title shot.