Fighters Weigh In on Rampage-Griffin

By Mike Sloan Jul 7, 2008
In the aftermath of one of the more memorable main events of a major UFC -- Forrest Griffin (Pictures)'s unanimous decision over Quinton Jackson (Pictures) -- the Mandalay Bay Events Center became a maelstrom of reaction Saturday night.

Some Rampage supporters were incensed at the decision in favor of Griffin, though Griffin's supporters were flabbergasted as to why these people were so irate.

Was it Griffin's in-and-out kickboxing or Jackson's sporadic power strikes that deserved the edge? Was it Griffin's guard play and attempted triangle choke or Jackson's attempted slam to break the submission?

Griffin's game warranted the win according to the judges, who gave him the nod on tallies of 48-46 (twice) and 49-46. But two judges, Adalaide Byrd and Roy Silbert, favored Griffin 10-9 even in the opening stanza, during which Rampage floored him with a stinging uppercut.

Debate has followed, but who truly won?

Sherdog.com spoke with various fighters and coaches to get their opinions on the UFC 86 main event, which has accidentally become a perfect catalyst for what could be the most viewed rematch in UFC history.

Chuck Liddell (Pictures): I thought Forrest won, but I was sitting next to Jay Glazer (Pictures) and he thought Rampage won. It was very close.

Mike Whitehead (Pictures): I was sitting front row. It was clearly three rounds to two in favor of Forrest.

Mac Danzig (Pictures): I might be a little biased because Forrest is a good friend and training partner, but in my opinion Forrest won the fight hands down, three rounds to two. He outworked him from beginning to end, and even though not everything he threw landed, at least he fought the whole time instead of just looking for one big shot. You know, Forrest trained hard for this fight and it showed. He was training in the gym everyday, not running around with a chain around his neck, telling people he's a thug.

Frank Shamrock (Pictures): Sorry, I don't watch the UFC.

Eddy Millis (Pictures): I was there, 10th row. Rampage won 48-46.

David Loiseau (Pictures): Rampage won. Forrest lost the first, third and fourth rounds.

Dewey Cooper (Pictures): The fight was close. The first and fourth rounds were the only rounds that really could be argued for either fighter. The first I gave to Rampage. The second was all Forrest, and I scored it 10-8. Forrest did a terrible job in the third and let Quinton back into the fight. I gave the third to Quinton. The fourth was so close I scored it 10-10. In the fifth Forrest out-hustled Rampage, and my final score was 48-47 for Forrest.

Gray Maynard (Pictures): I think Forrest won. Quinton won two rounds, Forrest won three. Forrest dictated the whole fight except for a couple quick explosions from Quinton. It was a great fight and close, but Forrest kept his game plan and was more active for three rounds.

Duke Roufus: I've been here at MFS training Ben Rothwell (Pictures). Pat Miletich (Pictures), [K-1] Pat Barry, Ben Rothwell (Pictures) and myself all watched the fight and we all thought Forrest won.

Phil Baroni (Pictures): I don't know how two judges gave Forrest that first round, man. That's some bulls---. I thought Rampage clearly won the fight. That first round could have been 10-8 for Rampage!*

* Sherdog.com's Mike Sloan said Baroni gave this quote in person and on the record Saturday night shortly before doing an on-camera interview regarding his upcoming Cage Rage bout. However, Baroni has since denied offering this opinion on the Jackson-Griffin fight being scored wrongly, saying the decision was "a fair one."

Cung Le (Pictures): Rampage won the first round with the knockdown, lost the second round bad. He won the third, but in the fourth he did not do enough to win and lost the fifth. I wanted Rampage to win, but you gotta take it from the champ. But the way I score, Rampage lost.

Cub Swanson (Pictures): I thought Rampage won. I had Rampage winning rounds one, three and four. Forrest won the second easily and the fifth. I'd love to see it happen again.

Gabe Ruediger (Pictures): I watched the fight and thought Forrest won. He was more active and did a great job of sticking to his game plan. I felt it wasn't decisive, but that only comes if you don't allow it to go to the judges. I thought Forrest won but wouldn't have been surprised if [the judges] had Rampage winning instead.

Cole Miller (Pictures): Forrest won three rounds to two.

Josh Thomson (Pictures): It was close, but I thought Rampage won three rounds to two.

Alan Belcher (Pictures): When the fight was over, my initial reaction was that Forrest won but they are going to give it to Rampage. My score was first round Rampage 10-9, second round Forrest 10-8, and rounds three [through] five all for Forrest 10-9.

Erik Paulson (Pictures): I thought Forrest won. I watched it with Josh Barnett (Pictures) and all my fighters, and we all sat and talked about it. We all thought Forrest won. We were all rooting for Rampage because Josh helps to train him, but it was a close fight. It was a great fight, actually. He landed some good shots, but I think the length of Forrest really threw him off. It was weird because it looked like Rampage was lacking some zest for that fight. But yeah, we all thought Forrest had won.
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