Griffin-Jackson rematch on the horizon?
Forrest Griffin prevailed over Quinton Jackson at UFC 86 Saturday in what was easily the best main event of 2008. Some of the reaction from the fight has been downright idiotic, so let’s clear some things up. First, the “fix” was not in. I’ve heard this theory posited on several message boards and in a few e-mails from fans and it’s downright absurd. While Griffin is a homegrown champ, the UFC would’ve been fine with Rampage winning. It would’ve proven he’s a dominant champion at the top of his game. Additionally, the UFC has far too much to lose by fixing a fight than it would stand to gain by having Griffin win the belt. Third, the judges aren’t even employed by the UFC so it’s not like president Dana White is lording over these people. If you try to argue that this fight was fixed, you’re an idiot.
Griffin won the fight, though it should’ve been a little closer than it was on a few scorecards. Next, there should not be an immediate rematch. I’ve heard a few writers suggest this because Jackson did not lose convincingly and has had an impressive stretch lately. I certainly understand their point because it was a terrific fight and a sequel would be pretty awesome. It can’t happen, though. There’s just too much depth at light heavyweight in the UFC to have an immediate rematch. On one hand, I feel like Jackson deserves it. But one of the main reasons he deserves it is the controversy surrounding the scoring and an immediate rematch would be the UFC validating concerns over scoring, and I think that would send the wrong message.
On the other, there are a lot of great fights that can happen to set up a rematch. I’d love to see Rampage take on Wanderlei Silva first and for Griffin to defend his title against the winner of the Chuck Liddell-Rashad Evans fight in September. Of course, Lyoto Machida needs to figure into this somewhere, although I don’t think he deserves a title shot just yet (although I wouldn’t complain if he got one, either).
All in all, it was a great fight that saved a very average and disappointing card. It’s tough to figure the UFC out sometimes. You will get a stacked card worth plunking down nearly 50 bucks for and then one like this, with a whole lot of nothing until a terrific main event. The UFC has had more hits than misses lately and I think the next two events are huge hits, but this one was a one-fight show.