UFC 123 was a night of fights that delivered to fans exciting knockouts, excellent submissions and a main event between two of the very best in the light heavyweight division.  While not every fight was one for the ages, from top to bottom UFC 123 was an event that did not disappoint fight fans.

In the opening fight of the pay-per-view, Joe Lauzon and George Sotiropoulos squared off in a lightweight bout that helped shape the future of the division.  Both fighters came out swinging.  Early in the first round Lauzon pushed the pace and seemed to out-strike Sotiropoulus.  However Sotiropoulos stuck to his game plan and continued to work to get the fight to the ground.  Eventually he did get the fight to the ground and attempted to work for a submission before the round ended.  In the second round Lauzon came out very slow and lethargic.  Sotiropoulos was able to batter Lauzon with strikes, opening up a take down.  Once Sotiropoulos was able to get the fight to the ground, he was able to work a kimura and get the submission. George Sotiropoulos submitted Joe Lauzon via kimura at 2:43 in the second round.

In the second fight of the evening, Phil Davis and Tim Boetsch attempted to give fans the most exciting fight they could.  Both fighters came out looking to get the better of the stand up game.  When the striking game ending in a stale mate, both fighters looked to take the fight to the ground.  Boetsch attempted the first take down but was unable to get Davis to the mat.  Davis was able to fend off the take down, duck some punches and get a take down of his own.  Davis was able to hold Boetsch down and hold the position for the remainder of the first round.  Davis came out in the second round and earned himself another take down.  With the fight on the ground, Davis was able to control the position, push Boetsch up against the fence and work for a submission.  Davis was able to secure a kimura earning him the submission.  Phil Davis defeated Tim Boetsch via kimura at 2:55 in the second round.

The third fight of the evening was between Gerald Harris and Maiquel Falco was a fight that many people thought had the potential to be fight of the night.  However, it turned out to be one of the more disappointing fights on the card.  In the first round, both fighters came out very slow.  Neither fighter offered much in the way of offense as they spent most of the first round circling each other.  Near the end of the first round, Falco landed a series of punches that rocked Harris.  Harris attempted a take down and was reversed.  Falco attempted to work a rear naked choke but the round ended, saving Harris.  The second round was more of the same, with both fighters offering little offense.  Again Falco threw flurries of punches that seem to hurt Harris and again worked for take downs that he is unable to secure.  Knowing that he won the first two rounds Falco did very little in the third round other then defending Harris’ take down attempts.  Falco did not throw one legitimate punch in the third round and he only threw two kicks.  Harris spent most of the third round circling Falco and occasionally attempting a take down.  The fight  ended with very little action and boos from the crowd. Falco won a unanimous decision.

The co-main event of the evening was the third fight in one of the most exciting rivalries in all of mixed martial arts.  With BJ Penn and Matt Hughes each having one victory, they both wanted to win this fight and gain the advantage in the trilogy.  UFC 123, however, was Penn’s night.  As soon as the bell sounded Penn came out firing.  He immediately cut the ring off and took the fight to Hughes.  Penn came out firing and landed nice combinations that rocked Hughes.  Penn immediately pounced and finished Hughes in the first 21 seconds of the fight.  Penn wins by knockout at 21 seconds of the first round.

The main event of evening was supposed to offer fans a war between two of the greatest fighters in the light heavyweight division. With both Rampage Jackson and Lyoto Machida coming off losses, both were in dire need of a victory.  A second consecutive loss for either fight would put them at the bottom the division.  Rampage came out fast, immediately stalking Machida.  Machida, in typical fashion, bounced around the edge of the cage looking for an opening.  Neither fighter did much in the first round.  Both fighters looked for openings that were not there and were very hesitant to throw punches or kicks that might leave them exposed. The second round was not much different then the first.  Both fighters were still hesitant, however they did offer a little more action.  Though no significant punches or kicks were landed, both fighters started to attempt to impose their will.  Most of the second round was spent with both fighters pressing each other up against the cage looking for an opening.  The third round started out the same as the first two, very slow and not much action.  Machida was able to connect with a flurry of punches that seemed to hurt Rampage.  Machida moved in for the kill but Rampage fired back connecting with his own flurry.  Machida was able to get the clinch and take Rampage to the mat but he was not able to do much with the position.  The fight ends with Machida scrambling for a submission.  To many people, this fight could have gone either way but Rampage wins via split decision.

The rest of the under card are as follows:

Brian Foster def. Matt Brown via submission (guillotine choke) – Round 2, 2:11
Mark Munoz def. Aaron Simpson via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
Dennis Hallman def. Karo Parisyan via TKO (strikes) – Round 1, 1:47
Edson Barboza def. Mike Lullo via TKO (leg kicks) – Round 3, 0:26
Paul Kelly def. T.J. O’Brien via TKO (strikes) – Round 2, 3:16
Nik Lentz def. Tyson Griffin via split decision (29-28, 27-30, 29-28)

About The Author

Josh Davis
President and Site Director

Josh Davis is the owner and President of The MMA Corner, LLC. He has been a fan of mixed martial arts since seeing UFC 1 in his hometown. In addition to his The MMA Corner responsibilities, Josh is the editor of Scrapp! Fight Magazine. Josh has also written for MMA Unleashed and MMA Sports magazines. Josh also manages some of Colorado's best up and coming fighters and is dedicated to the positive promotion of the sport.