| Article Summary:
UFC 86 Review
UFC 86 has come and gone and yet the controversy is just getting started. In the night's main event the heavily favored champ, Quinton "Rampage" Jackson suffered his first loss inside the famed octagon in a controversial decision to Forrest Griffin.
Other winners were Patrick Cote with a split-decision victory over Ricardo Almeida. Joe Stevenson locked in a nice guillotine choke on Gleison Tibau in the second round for the submission victory. Josh Koscheck pounded out a unanimous decision victory over a bloodied Chris Lytle. Tyson Griffin survived yet another fight for a decision victory over Marcus Aurelio.
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The Main Event
Quinton "Rampage" Jackson vs. Forrest Griffin
In a night where most of the fights weren't exciting, the main event did not disappoint. In an epic five round battle for the undisputed UFC LHW, Forrest Griffin was able to come away with the unanimous decision victory over "Rampage" Jackson. However not without a little bit of controversy.
Round one was a close round with strong leg kicks from Griffin that hampered Rampages' lead left leg. Rampage was able to put some nice power punches together, and connected with crisp upper-cut that floored the challenger. With a minute left he sensed victory and pounced on Griffin. Griffin was able to pull guard and recover as the bell rang signaling the end of the first round.
Round two was all Griffin. Knowing that Rampage was having problems with his lead leg, Griffin went right to work with consecutive stiff leg kicks that punished the champ. "He jacked my leg up," Jackson later admitted. "I tried to pretend; I ain't that good at acting, but he knew he hurt my leg."
As Rampage was faltering, Griffin was able to attempt a guillotine choke that lead to some vicious knees to the dome. Griffin was able to take Rampage down, and did wonders as he quickly mounted the champ and dished out punishment from the top. For about three to four minutes Rampage was eating a plateful of fists and elbows. Somehow Rampage was able to fend off the onslaught and was saved by the bell.
Rounds three and four were close rounds that could have gone to either fighter. Rampage's leg seemed that it loosened up a bit, but Griffin tried to cut those tree trunks down with more leg kicks. It was pretty much a kick boxing match in these two rounds, where I thought Rampage got the better of the exchanges.
Rampage's combos were more powerful and stunned the challenger on many occasions. He was just unable to finish the tough Griffin. Griffin was able to land bunches of punches but none doing much damage.
A little excitement came in the fourth round where Griffin was able to sink in a tight triangle choke, but the Rampage of old was able to escape by one of his famous slams.
At that point I thought we were going to see a knockout by way of a powerbomb, similar to the powerbomb performed on Ricardo Arona at Pride Critical Countdown. Griffin proved to big for Rampage to slam and even showed nice defense as he held on to Rampage's leg for leverage.
The fifth and final round was similar to rounds three and four. Griffin was the aggressor during round five, with nice punch and kick combos, nothing really damaging the champ. Rampage was able to land some nice counter punches that stunned Griffin, but it wasn't enough.
Going to the decision, a clear cut winner hadn't emerged. Or so we thought, all three judges scored the bout for Griffin.
Here's the official score cards:
- Adalaide Byrd who scored it 48-46, gave 4 and 5 to Jackson and Griffin 1, 2 and 3 with 2 as 10-8
- Nelson Hamilton had it 48-46 with 1 and 4 for Jackson, and Griffin getting 2 10-8
- Roy Silbert had it 49-46 with only round 4 for Jackson.
Where's Cecil Peoples when you need him? As Bruce Buffer read the winner, he hesitated a little which lead Griffin to believe that he had lost the fight, but to the surprise of many, We have a new undisputed UFC Champ and it's Forrest Griffin.
"I think that was pretty close," Griffin said post fight. "And I didn't want to (over-engage), because he hits too f___ing hard, but I think we're going to have to do that again. And that sucks for me. Every f___ing punch he threw hurt. I'm not kidding. Like I would catch it, and it would hurt my arm. Just everything hurt. And I just kind of let him get off and throw one, two or three. I never made him pay for it."
Rampage was also very professional after the fight, "Sometimes you win, sometimes you lose," said Jackson. "Forrest is tough. I respect him a lot. He works hard; he's a hard worker. Hey, whenever you step in the Octagon, there's a 50/50 chance you're going to get your ass whooped. I ain't no stranger to getting my ass whooped. I get my ass whooped sometimes."
Post Fight Controversy
Many people scored the bout a split-decision or even unanimous victory for Rampage, where he won rounds one, three and four. I agree somewhat with the second round going to Griffin 10-8. You can also argue that Rampage won the first round by the same score.
I felt that Rampage was dealing out the most damage in rounds 3 and 4. He was never in any real danger during that fight save the second round. Griffin was more aggressive in the last round, but Rampage still landed stiffer punches. It's hard for me to stomach that a champion can lose his belt in such manner.
So what's next for both these fighters? Juanito Ibarra is in the process of protesting the decision of the fight with the Nevada State Athletic Commission. He needs to do something because if I remember right he was going to retire if Rampage lost, but something tells me that it won't happen!
The thing that needs to happen is an immediate rematch between these two. During the post fight press conference, the feeling was that the rematch will happen. Here is Forrest Griffin's thoughts on a rematch: "I don't want to because he hits too f---ing hard," Griffin said, "but I think we're going to have to do that again." The fight was too close not to have a rematch.
Here's what Rampage had to say about the fight, "I feel like I won the fight," he said. "When I think about it, and my corner men and other people who watched it, they thought he won the second and maybe the last round. And I won the rest."
It was a great fight and Rampage lost his belt but gained some respect for Forrest, "I didn't want to leave it up to the judges," Jackson said. "But you know what? I didn't think Forrest could hang with me. I said if Forrest gets past the third round, he'll gain my respect and I respect him. And if I ever fight him again, I'm gonna respect the hell out of him with my right hand." Gracious and even funny in defeat!
Let's all hope that this fight will happen again, no one is more deserving of the next title shot than Rampage. Something tells me that the Forrest Griffin reign will be a short one!
Patrick Cote Vs Ricardo Almeida
In a fight reminiscent to the early UFC fights of differing styles, Patrick "The Predator" Cote was able to squeak out a split decision victory over Ricardo Almeida. The BJJ expert Almeida was able to takedown Cote in the first round, and land some punches from atop to win the round.
In rounds two and three, Almeida seemed gas, and Cote was able to defend his takedown attempts. Cote was the aggressor in the latter rounds as he was able to pepper Almeida with some strikes. Due to Cote being the aggressor the judges scored the bout in his favor 29-28, 28-29 and 29-28.
Neither fighter looked impressive enough to challenge the current middleweight champ Anderson Silva, but Cote will no doubt get his shot according to Dana White. White also commented on the fight to NBC Sports, "The fight was boring. The reality is when there are two guys who are really good at different things, and guys who have different game plans, that sometimes what happens." Enough said!
Joe Stevenson Vs Gleison Tibau
With his 7-year old son watching him for the first time, Joe "Daddy" Stevenson was able to rebound from his loss to B.J. Penn and submit Gleison Tibau with a guillotine choke in the second round. The first round went to Tibau as he landed some nice shots and was able to take down Stevenson. Tibau was unsuccessful with an attempted omoplata and Stevenson just waited till the bell rang.
The second round belonged to Stevenson, as he stuffed an attempted takedown from Tibau and sunk in a tight guillotine choke for the win. With the win, Stevenson throws his hat back in the mix for a rematch with Penn. Rumor has it that Penn will look to fight GSP for his welterweight title. So Stevenson might have to wait a while.
Josh Koscheck Vs Chris Lytle
Josh Koscheck looked like the All-American wrestler that we all know, during his bloodbath of a fight with Chris Lytle. Koscheck was able to takedown the feared striker time after time. With a vicious ground and pound reminiscent of Tito Ortiz, Koscheck was able to bloody Lytle's mug early in the second round. Kos opened up a nice size cut above the right eye of Lytle, and was relentless with his punches and elbows from his guard.
Kos was considering a stand-up war with Lytle, but proved his wrestling skills were too much for Lytle to handle. He easily earned a unanimous decision with scores of 30-26, 29-27 and 30-28. He hinted that he might drop weight to challenge B.J. Penn for the lightweight title, so stay tuned for that!
Tyson Griffin Vs Marcus Aurelio
In the night's first televised fight, Tyson Griffin was able to earn yet another unanimous decision victory over Marcus Aurelio. Tyson proved to much for the BJJ black belt. His striking and wrestling game were too much for Aurelio to handle.
Griffin dominated the fight on the feet with crisp strikes and nice takedowns. On the ground, where Aurelio is most comfortable, had no chance of any submission as Griffin escaped every attempt while dishing out more punishment. It was a unanimous 30-27 score on all three judges cards. Griffin will remain at the middle of the pack of lightweight contenders till he can prove he can finish a fight.
- Gabriel Gonzaga def. Justin McCully via submission (Kimura) - Round 1, 1:57 -
- Cole Miller def. Jorge Gurgel via submission (triangle choke) - Round 3, 4:48 -
- Melvin Guillard def. Dennis Siver via KO (punches) - Round 1, 0:36 -
- Justin Buchholz def. Corey Hill via submission (rear naked choke) - Round 2, 3:57 -