Monday, November 22, 2010, 2:12 pm
By Greg Schultheis
UFC 123 in Detroit was an exciting card from top to bottom. Rampage actually stuck to a game plan. BJ Penn walked to the cage crazy eyed and mumbling to himself you could just sense something big was going to happen. George Sortiropolous is on his way to the top of the Lightweight Division and both Phil Davis and Edson Barboza are on track to becoming stars in the sport. CSN breaks down what we can expect for some of the winners and losers from UFC 123.
Quinton "Rampage" Jackson vs. Lyoto "The Dragon" Machida
What Happened: Quinton Jackson paid homage to his days in Japan by walking out to the Pride theme song. It showed that he was taking this fight and his career very seriously, which had been in question by many fight fans. During the bout, Jackson controlled the center of the octagon, pushing the pace which forced Machida on the run for most of the match. Being aggressive was the factor that won over the judges for a split decision win (28-29, 29-28, 29-28). Unfortunately, for The Dragon he waited until the 3rd round to attack and it may have been what cost him the victory.
Whats Next For Rampage: This was an impressive win over a very tough opponent. After the fight Rampage said he wanted to give Machida a re-match but later in the post-presser when asked about a rematch Dana White confirmed: "No. There won't be a rematch. As far as I am concerned and as far as the judges are concerned, Rampage won that fight."
Most likely Rampage will be getting a shot at the UFC gold. MMA fans have been clamoring to see Rampage vs. Shogun 2 or if Rashad Evans defeats Shogun in their title fight, Rampage may get his chance to shut Evans mouth for good. Dana White knows Jackson fighting for a title against either of these guys is a PPV smash hit.
Whats Next For Machida: Machida has dropped two straight losses so his stock has also slightly fallen. On a high note, he looked very good in this loss against Rampage, using good footwork. He minimized damage and dominated the 3rd round, even rocking Jackson. Look for Machida to take on either the loser of Bader vs. Jones or possibly the loser of Evans vs. Shogun.
BJ Penn vs. Matt Hughes
What Happened: KO of the Night, thats what happened! It didnt take long for BJ Penn to finish Hughes in the 1st Round. Penn dropped Hughes to the canvas with a solid right, and then knocked him out in just 21 seconds with a nasty flurry of shots to the dome.
Whats Next For Penn: Dana White confirmed he will be facing top contender Jon Fitch at UFC 127. It seems the Welterweight Division is a good home for the Prodigy.
Whats Next For Hughes: Up until getting stopped by Penn, Hughes had been on a roll with three straight wins against high-level opponents. Look to see him in the octagon sooner than later and racking up wins again. Some exciting match-ups could be against Martin Kampman or Diego Sanchez.
George Sotiropoulos vs. Joe Lauzon
What Happened: Sotiropoulos vs. Lauzon took Fight of the Night honors with Sotiropoulos submitting Lauzon via Kimura at 2:43 of Round 2.
Whats Next For Sotiropoulos: In this fight Sotiropoulos showed he has the tools that he is a true contender in the Lightweight Division. He kept his composure and had the ability to put a stamp on his opponent when the opportunity arose. He is now 7- 0 in the UFC and that cannot go unnoticed, he is on the brink of a title shot. His next opponent will be Dennis Siver at UFC 127 in Sydney, Australia.
Whats Next For Lauzon: After being finished, Lauzon really drops in the mix of the lightweight division. Maybe a fight with Tyson Griffin would work with the loser most likely getting cut from the UFC.
Phil Davis and Edson Barboza showed signs of brilliance in there fights, both finishing emphatically. Keep these guys on your radar!