UFC 123 went exactly as fight fans expected. It was an event riddled with explosive match ups that let the judges off the hook on multiple occasions. Fights were being finished left and right by a variety of outcomes. The ones that didn't end early were wars.
Like a spark plug, the Spike TV portion of the card ignited the evening with a war between Aaron Simpson and Mark Munoz. We are talking all out aggression mixed with world class talent on both parts.
These two middle weights absolutely set it off with three rounds of fast paced MMA. Munoz emerged with the decision but the fans were the true winners after this tilt.
And the hits just kept on coming as Brian foster submitted Matt brown with a filthy guillotine choke midway through the second round of their fight.
Then Karo Parysian made his return to the octagon against MMA veteran Dennis Hallman. Hallman did not welcome Karo home nicely, stopping him early by TKO. While Karo disagreed with the stoppage, it was an impressive win for Hallman over a respected veteran.
And those, fight fans, were just the prelims on spike.
The main card had a tough act to follow and the athletes really stepped up. It started when George Sotiropoulos stopped Joe Lauzon in the second round with an impressive Kimura; another impressive win for Sotiropoulos that makes fight fans wonder how far he will take this amazing momentum of his as he climbs the lightweight ladder.
Phil Davis followed that up by inventing new submission moves while on the fly. He stopped Tim Boetsch with a modified Kimura now known as the "Mr Wonderful."Davis was extremely impressive as always.
How long is it going to take before they lock this guy in the cage with Jon Jones?
Then it was time for the right hand heard around the world. Not one to be upstaged, B.J. Penn knocked Matt Hughes out cold in just 21 seconds, trumping all the previous performances of the evening.
That's right fight fans, you read it right, 21 seconds; just absolutely unreal. Jaws across the MMA community were all laying on the floor. Some still haven't been picked up yet.
Quite honestly Penn had the historic “eye of the tiger." There was a look in his eyes that fight fans haven't seen in what seems like an eternity. He reminded everybody that he is a force in this sport, and that weight is just a number.
Finally, in the main event, Quinton “Rampage” Jackson earned a razor thin split decision over Lyoto “The Dragon” Machida. It was a very difficult fight to call, watching it a second time. One can only imagine what was going through both the fighter’s and the judges minds thirty seconds after it was over.
It was “Rampage’s” aggression that more than likely swayed the judges in his favor. It was a very tactical fight between two lethal former light heavyweight champions. In a fight many thought may end early, they showed great respect for each other's strengths.
And we almost got to see a patented “Rampage” slam, but Machida was wise enough to avoid it mid slam by releasing a submission hold attempt that simply put him in the blast zone. Oh well, maybe next time kids.
Rampage was very humble in victory, offering Machida an immediate rematch. Overall it was an amazing night of MMA that wont soon be forgotten by the fight fans.
A true classic, all the competitors should be extremely proud.
This article orginally featured at Hurtsbad.com.