Griffin's UFC 86 win brings gratification, gripes
The debate hasn't stopped since Saturday. Did
You can make a case either way on Round 3, which is why I haven't taken too hard a stance against judge
For my money, Rampage's power shots in the third were worth more than Griffin's high output. Jackson finally found himself in the middle round. He moved his head well, defended the majority of Griffin's strikes and created angles to connect on several stiff combinations. Though Griffin never backed away, he didn't do anything to hurt Jackson.
Griffin's stats showed a high work-rate from the challenger in the third -- 91 strikes compared to Jackson's 37 -- but the new champ only landed eight more shots than his opponent overall. And the power strikes went the other way: Griffin connected on nine while Rampage tallied 14.
Aside from the second round, which Griffin dominated, stats don't tell the story of this fight.
My card after five was 47-47 -- the first, third and fourth rounds to Jackson.The second (10-8) and fifth rounds I gave to Griffin. So, I'm with you. The fight was a draw.
There's not a doubt in my mind that the second round was worthy of a 10-8 score. Jackson didn't land anything, he was hurt with low kicks and a submission forced him into a bad position. Griffin passed the guard and spent most of the round in the mount. At that point, nearly finishing an opponent wasn't even needed for Griffin to earn that score.
Forget conspiracy theories. Yes, White said he was proud of Griffin. He also told Jackson how tough he was for continuing to fight on a damaged leg. MMA has a hard enough time dealing with incompetent judges without speculation of manufactured results causing additional damage.
In May, I focused on the need for
More than anything else, questionable decisions hurt boxing's reputation among casual fans. Of course, judging isn't an exact science. Disagreements happen. What troubles me, though, is this pattern of inconsistent scoring.
With the talent at 205 pounds, it would be tough for anyone to hold onto the title for an extended period of time. Say this about Griffin: He won't give away the belt. A challenger who defeats the new champ will have his work cut out for him to earn it.
Jackson's training camps under Ibarra focus on all aspects of the fight game.
Depending on how you rank them, Forrest easily cracks the top 10 and even the top five. I say he's around four or five. He's probably not in the top three, but he definitely belongs in the discussion. He'll need to avenge a loss to
It doesn't look like Ibarra's gripes mean much.
Yes, two of the judges scored the first for Griffin when it seemed clear Jackson deserved the 10-9 call. But Rounds 3 and 5 were so tight that either fighter could make a claim to winning.
I don't disagree with you regarding Ibarra's instructions between the fourth and fifth. The fight was very close at that point. It would have been reasonable to assume the champ was down based on Griffin's dominant second round, but Ibarra told Jackson he was in control. And that might have prompted the champion to let off the gas.
In the rematch, Jackson needs to pressure Griffin. Enough power shots connected, so Jackson knows he can hurt Griffin. I don't think Rampage can match Griffin's output, but the former champ should be more active. If he is, I bet he'll regain the belt.