Count Ed Soares, the renowned manager of many of Brazil’s top fighters including Lyoto Machida, amongst those who believe his client was robbed by a split decision loss to Quinton ‘Rampage’ Jackson at UFC 123.
Since the fight Soares has watched the fight three times, yet still hasn’t figured out how Rampage emerged with his hand raised.
“I watched the fight wanting to see Quinton win,” Soares said. “I don’t want to sit here saying, ‘Oh, it’s bad judging.’ I wanted to see what Quinton did to win that. In the first round, I think Lyoto did enough to win that first round. People will say, ‘Oh, but he wasn’t aggressive.’ But that’s Lyoto’s style. And they’ll say, ‘octagon control.’ That depends on how you look at it. At the end of the day, Lyoto was doing what he wanted to do to put Rampage where he wanted him. He had Rampage chasing him and that’s what Lyoto likes, is to find those openings.”
Anybody who watched the fight will already be well aware of what Soares thought about the decision. On the live UFC broadcast he can be heard telling Ramage, “That’s bullsh*t!” after the verdict was announced.
“I had no idea the camera was on us, and I was just talking to him friend to friend,” Soares admits. “I thought it was bull—-. After the fact, I thought about it and felt bad and I apologized to him at the hotel. I thought Lyoto won the fight. He said, ‘You don’t have to apologize to me, man.
“I got mad love for Rampage, and I think he’s got love for me,” Soares adds. “We’re friends, and I feel that’s one thing about friends is that you can be honest with each other. By no means did I mean to disrespect him on national television. I had no idea the camera was on, to be honest with you.”
Soares is certainly not alone in finding fault with the final outcome. All three of Sherdog.com’s pundits on their live play-by-play, including Jordan Breen, scored the fight in favor of Machida, as did other high profiles sites like MMAJunkie, USAToday and more. The Fightmetric data meanwhile indicated a draw, though their own scoring system pointed in favor of Machida as well.
Of course even Rampage appeared convinced he had lost until his corner-men convinced him otherwise in the locker room after the right.
I too was surprised at the decision, though it was a close enough fight that I don’t see it as a robbery. Upon watching it for a second time I believe the first round is at the very least a 10-10 if not 10-9 to Machida, and with his third round 10-9 performance that should have been enough to win the fight.
Still it’s all water under the bridge now. I would however be interested to hear Dana White’s thoughts if and when he watches it for a second time as I felt he appeared a little too quick to dismiss Machida’s role in the fight at the post-fight press conference.