UFC 144 Results

UFC 144 Results

Quinton "Rampage" Jackson

Quinton "Rampage" Jackson

On Feb. 25, 2012, Quinton Jackson lost a three round decision to fellow Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) Light Heavyweight Ryan Bader at UFC 144 in Saitama, Japan. “Rampage” had his moments, but overall, he looked a step slower and a mere shadow of the fighter that the Japanese fans were used to seeing during the PRIDE era.

But it isn’t just that he lost. The best fighters in the world lose decisions and live to see another day. Often times, it makes them all the better for it. As much as “Rampage” doesn’t want to hear people in the mixed martial arts (MMA) community question his motivation, it’s hard not to these days.

He missed weight by six pounds, a misstep that didn’t even really seem to bother him. But let’s be real — it affected him and his performance.

Now the big question: Should Jackson’s appearance at UFC 144 be his last inside the Octagon?

Ben Henderson claimed the UFC lightweight title with a unanimous decision over Frankie Edgar at UFC 144 on Saturday night.

Ryan Bader survived a frightening fall onto his neck to win every round in a unanimous decision over Japanese favorite Rampage Jackson in the co-main event of the UFC’s first show in Japan since 2000.

Henderson, the former WEC lightweight champion from Federal Way, Wash., picked apart the smaller UFC champion with an effective all-around attack, highlighted by a vicious kick from a prone position in the second round that bloodied Edgar’s nose and face.

“I wanted to use my size to my advantage,” Henderson said. “Making weight is really (a struggle) for me … so I want to make sure my opponents feel that pain when we have 25 minutes inside this octagon.”

UFC 144 was held on Sunday morning for the North American pay-per-view audience, but Saitama Super Arena still was sold out for a large show from mixed martial arts’ dominant promotion.

Along with the popular Jackson’s loss, two major Japanese stars were beaten in front of their fans: Jake Shields earned a unanimous decision over Yoshihiro Akiyama, and Tim Boetsch rallied after two terrible rounds to stop Yushin Okami in the third. Heavyweight Mark Hunt stopped Cheick Kongo midway through the first round, and lightweight title contender Anthony Pettis impressively stopped Joe Lauzon in the first round.

Edgar repeatedly caught Henderson’s kicks and managed a handful of takedowns, but Henderson countered much of Edgar’s trademark work rate with his significant size advantage.

Henderson staggered Edgar with a perfectly placed up-kick late in the second round, with his right heel connecting squarely with Edgar’s head while Henderson was prone on the canvas. Edgar survived the round, but the kick left blood pouring from his nose, and the wound opened up again in the third round while Edgar’s left eye closed from an earlier shot.

Henderson pressed his advantages into the fifth round, bouncing around the canvas and inciting the crowd before landing several big shots. Edgar couldn’t find his way inside Henderson’s defense, and Henderson landed significant strikes into the final seconds.

The judges favored Henderson 49-46, 48-47 and 49-46. Edgar disagreed with the decision, saying he landed more strikes and takedowns.

“I thought I did enough to win,” Edgar said. “That’s what my guys told me, but those are the breaks. Congrats to Ben.”

Earlier, Bader (14-2) pounded out the biggest victory of his career by spending most of the fight on top of Jackson (32-10), who missed the 205-pound weight limit by 6 pounds. Jackson, a superstar in Japan after spending several years in the Pride fighting promotion, will forfeit 20 percent of his purse.

Jackson nearly ended the fight in the second round when he picked up Bader and threw him directly onto his head and neck, bending Bader’s left arm at a freakish angle. Bader was stunned but apparently unhurt, and he recovered to dominate the former UFC light heavyweight champion.

“Beating Rampage here in Japan is an amazing experience, an amazing feeling,” Bader said. “I was rocked a little bit there, but I came back to my feet, and my arm is fine.”

Jackson has lost three of his last five fights, and hasn’t stopped an opponent since December 2008.

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