Heavy.com is live at the Palace of Auburn Hills in Auburn Hills, Michigan for “UFC 123: Rampage vs. Machida” this evening.
The preliminary portion of the event is in the books, as we move on to a highly-anticipated main card, featuring a light heavyweight match up between former champions Lyoto Machida and Quinton “Rampage” Jackson, along with another bout of former champions between legends B.J. Penn and Matt Hughes.
Also on the card, lightweights Joe Lauzon and George Sotiropoulos face off in a battle of the division’s top grapplers, while light heavyweight prospect Phil Davis tests his abilities against Tim Boetsch. Rounding out the live Pay-Per-View card, Gerald Harris welcomes Maiquel Falcao to the Ultimate Fighting Championship.
Join Heavy.com at 10 p.m. ET for live results from “UFC 123: Rampage vs. Machida”.
George Sotiropoulos vs. Joe Lauzon
Round 1: Frantic pace to begin this fight. Lauzon landing straight rights consistently. The pace slows for a moment, but Lauzon comes back with another straight right. Lauzon moves forward, but Sotiropoulos goes for the takedown. Defended nicely by Lauzon. He comes forward with a combo, followed by a knee. Lauzon is getting the better of this, as Sotiropoulos comes back with another failed takedown. Big right lands for Lauzon, and Sotiropoulos cannot get anything going. Another takedown stuffed by Lauzon, who scores three huge elbows to his opponents head. Sotiropoulos clinches, looking for a takedown. Lauzon defends nicely and pushes away. Lauzon working angles very nicely, but Sotiropoulos finally lands a decent combination. Lauzon leads with the right, but does not score anything. He comes forward and Sotiropoulos pulls guard. Crazy scramble ends up with Lauzon in half guard. Sotiropoulos scrambles again and looks for a single. He has hit, but Lauzon rolls out, giving up his back. Sotiropoulos moves to north-south, and Lauzon continues to defend nicely. Side control for Sotiropoulos now. He moves to mount, but gets reversed when going for the armbar. Lauzon ends up on top and finishes with ground and pound. Heavy.com scores the round 10-9 for Lauzon.
Round 2: Sotiropoulos comes out with a combo, but nothing lands. Lauzon is slowing down. Sotiropoulos looks for a takedown, but Lauzon defends nicely once again. Sotiropoulos has him pressed up against the cage. He is working for a takedown, but Lauzon somehow stays on his feet. Sotriopoulos works the body. Lauzon seems very tired. Knees from Sotiropoulos, followed by a takedown attempt. Lauzon avoids, but Sotiropoulos scores the next takedown attempt. He has an arm trapped, looking for a kimura. Now an armbar. Lauzon slips out, and Sotiropoulos is in north-south. He works for the kimura and he cranks Lauzon’s arm from on top. Lauzon is forced to submit. Beautiful technique from Sotiropoulos to force the tap out.
Official Decision: Sotiropoulos d. Lauzon by submission, round 2
Tim Boetsch vs. Phil Davis
Round 1: Fighters touch gloves and we are underway. Davis in the center of the cage, as Boetsch circles. Right misses for Boetsch, but he scores a leg kick. Head kick checked by Boetsch. The fighters trade leg kicks. Davis works another head kick, but this one, like the first is checked. Davis tries to counter a hook with a takedown, but fails. Boetsch catches a leg kick and tries to take out Davis’ back leg, but he can’t earn the takedown. Boetsch catches another kick, but lets it go. Davis rushes forward with a takedown and gets it. He is in half guard now, looking for an arm triangle. He lets it go, opting for punches. Shot after shot to the body, and now to the head. Boetsch is just taking quite a few shots here. Davis throwing elbows from the top, but he’s still only in half guard. He continues to pound away, and Boetsch just cannot escape. He works to guard, but only for a moment. Davis is just holding Boetsch down effortlessly, but he gets sloppy and the two are back to the feet. Knees from Davis up against the cage, and the first round is over. And incredibly one-sided. Heavy.com scores the round 10-9 for Davis.
Round 2: The second round begins without a touch of the gloves. The fighters exchange in a very sloppy manner, but Davis pushes Boetsch against the cage. This spells trouble for Boetsch. Davis is earning double underhooks effortlessly here. Davis with a takedown attempt and ends up in a guillotine choke. He’s in half guard and pulls out easily. Kimura attempt now from Davis, and it is deep. Boetsch is in a heap of trouble here. It looks like he is about to tap. And he does. Very interesting form of a kimura for Davis, who earns a big submission victory.
Official Decision: Davis d. Boetsch by submission, round 2
Maiquel Falcao vs. Gerald Harris
Round 1: Nothing happening here to start, as the two feel each other out. Big left misses for Harris. Falcao is eerily calm. One minute in and nothing has landed for either fighter. Right hand finally lands for Harris. Falcao still hasn’t thrown anything, and the crowd is booing now. Big right hand misses for Harris. Falcao evades another shot, and another. He is either being patient or is just confused. We’ll give him the benefit of the doubt and go with the former. Harris lands a right, and Falcao does not bother to counter. Quick kick lands for Falcao. He is scanning for an opening, but can’t find one. Harris lunges with a jab, then misses with a one-two. Falcao moves in and throws an incredibly fast combination. He knees Harris and floors him. Falcao gets on top and shoots off quite a few more big shots. Harris rolls to half guard, but Falcao continues to land shots. He is beating him up. Harris gives up his back, and Harris stands up, slamming his opponent down. Falcao sinks in the rear naked choke so quickly, and Harris is saved by the bell, even though Falcao held it for an additional two seconds.
Round 2: Fighters touch gloves to start. Harris seems a bit timid, and I don’t blame him. Falcao lunges in and tags Harris. They separate and he tags him again. Harris falls to his back, and Falcao follows him down. He moves to the back yet again, and Harris is in very deep trouble. Falcao is completely dominating this fight. He is on Harris’ back, trying to flatten him out. Harris rolls him over and is looking for a takedown. Falcao reverses and shoots off a knee. Harris throws a right jab, but he looks to be in rough shape now. He shoots in, but the takedown is stuffed. Harris has him in the clinch and slams Falcao down. Harris cannot hold him down, and Falcao is back to his feet. Head kick lands flush for Falcao, and Harris shoots in for a takedown. Elbows from the top for Falcao after stuffing the takedown. Falcao can probably end this fight whenever he feels like it. 30 seconds to go in the round. Nothing really happening. Harris is back up and the round ends in a much less dramatic fashion than the first.
Round 3: Five minutes to go in this fight, and it could be a long five minutes for Harris. Falcao showing patience once again. 30 seconds in and no action. Leg kick lands for Falcao. Harris leads with a jab that falls short. The crowd is going to get restless any second now. There it is. Crowd boos, unhappy with the lack of action. Referee urges the two to fight. That doesn’t seem to work. Two minutes in and Falcao has thrown one, maybe two, shots. They are literally not doing anything here. Dana White has to be furious cageside right now. Leg kick thrown by Falcao. It is about time. Harris way too calm for being down in this fight. He needs a finish and he is not fighting like he does. Lead jab lands for Harris and he is finally starting to push the pace. This is just so confusing right now. Harris lunges forward after another break in action, but nothing significant lands. Harris attempts the takedown, but Falcao stuffs it and throws a left hook. But that’s all he threw. Head kick for Falcao. Harris lands a kick of his own. 10 seconds to go. Harris raises his hands up, questioning Falcao. Falcao takes it personally and finally engages. Unfortunately, the bell rings and the fight is over. The fans boo. Rightfully so, considering there were only two rounds of fighting.
Official Decision: Falcao d. Harris by unanimous decision (29-27, 29-28, 29-28)
B.J. Penn vs. Matt Hughes
Round 1: Penn comes out quickly with a very nice combination. Penn rocks Hughes with a left hook that floors him. He moves in for the kill. A few more shots and Hughes is knocked out cold. What an incredible knockout victory for Penn, who runs out of the Octagon.
Official Decision: Penn d. Hughes by knockout, round 1
Lyoto Machida vs. Quinton “Rampage” Jackson
Round 1: Jackson comes out quickly with a fair amount of movement. Machida circles on the outside. Kick lands for Machida. Jackson has not landed anything yet, but Machida lands another kick. One minute to go and “Rampage” is fighting like Falcao thus far. Machida misses with a kick, and Jackson comes forward, but he does not throw anything. Another kick for Machida. Two minutes in and “Rampage” has not throw a shot yet. There it is. Jackson throws a quick combination, but does not land anything significant. Short break in action before “Rampage” comes back again. Big hooks from Jackson, and the two clinch. Jackson working elbows and knees up against the cage. They separate and the Jackson presses the pace again. Back to the clinch. Little action here aside from the short knees and elbows. Machida separates without throwing any strikes. Jackson is stalking him, attempting to cut off his circling. He misses with two big hooks. 10 seconds to go. Leg kick lands for Machida, and Jackson presses forward with a wild flurry before the round comes to an end. Heavy.com scores the round 10-9 for Jackson.
Round 2: No touch of the gloves to start the round. Instead, Jackson comes forward once again. Knee lands for Machida, but Jackson counters. Jackson rushes in for a clinch, pressing Machida up against the cage. Machida switches the positions and takes an accidental knee to the groin. The fight is stopped for a few seconds, and Herb Dean gets it restarted after Machida says he is fine. Leg kick lands for Machida, and Jackson misses with a hook. He clinches again, but Machida turns him up against the cage. Knees from Machida, but Jackson scores a big takedown. Machida is looking to walk up the wall here. He’s up and the fighters separate. Machida looks to clinch again and he pushes Jackson up against the cage once again. “Rampage” gets double underhooks and lands a big knee. They separate and Machida throws a head kick that is checked. Jackson comes back with a nice punch, but follows up with a big left hook that misses badly. Machida fakes a kick, but throws one shortly after. The fighters clinch again with one minute to go. Machida looks for the trip, but Jackson stops the takedown. Knees from Jackson before they separate. 10 seconds to go and Machida lands a nice left hand. Jackson appears to have tripped, and Machida throws a head kick that Jackson blocks after the bell. Machida apologizes, and they head to their corners. Heavy.com scores the round 10-9 for Jackson.
Round 3: Jackson comes out with a leg kick. Yes, you read that correctly. Big left and right hooks miss for Jackson. He wants a knockout very badly. Lead jab grazes Jackson, and the fans start to boo after a short break in action. Jackson misses with several big shots, but Machida scores some big punches that daze “Rampage”. Jackson covers up as Machida rushes forward. Knees from Machida, and Jackson starts throwing aimlessly. The fight hits the floor, and Machida ends up on top in half guard. He’s attempting to free his right leg. Machida is going for a kimura, but Jackson seems just far too strong. Herb Dean tells Machida that he needs to work. He gets to side control and effortlessly moves to full mount. Elbows from Machida. He postures up and is going for an arm bar. Jackson lifts him up and looks for the slam, but Machida lets go, which likely saved him from a vicious slam at the hands of “Rampage”. The fighters exchange punches before a scramble leads to Jackson in top position. Machida utilizes rubber guard to avoid damage as the fight comes to a close. Heavy.com scores the round 10-9 for Machida.
Official Decision: Jackson d. Machida via split decision (28-29, 29-28, 29-28)