Having followed the no-holds-barred beatdowns from the beginning (I actually plunked down the exorbitant pay-per-view costs early in the going), I was more than a little surprised at how relatively easily Forest Griffin dethroned "Rampage" Jackson. Although I pointed out to my nephew (as we sat in Hooters waiting for the fireworks to begin) that Griffin had the style to beat Jackson, such an outcome seemed unlikely: Griffin, while a rugged, straight-ahead punching machine, had clearly shown in his loss to Keith Jardine that he was susceptible (as are we all) to head shots (and, in fact, as pointed out by two-time opponent Stephen Bonnar, Griffin tends to warm to an opponent only after his brains have been thoroughly rattled). Jackson had taken Chuck Liddell's title with a single looping right to the jaw (followed up, of course, by the traditional pounding of the fallen man into a pancake). And to see Jackson manhandle Dan Henderson had been a surprise. It didn't bode well for Griffin. But Griffin turned out to be not only bigger, but stronger than Jackson- and the leg-kick that signalled the beginning of the end of Jackson's reign was a solid reminder that, when it comes to mixed martial arts, there's no such thing as a given.
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