Griffin proves his worth at UFC 86 by upsetting 'Rampage'

LAS VEGAS - When the fighters were introduced before the light heavyweight championship fight Saturday at UFC 86 in Mandalay Bay Events Center, it was unclear who was the champion and who was the challenger.

The sellout crowd cheered the fan-friendly, top-contender Forrest Griffin and jeered the gritty, no-nonsense champ Rampage Jackson.

It appeared the fans knew something was ahead, as Griffin was able to get a unanimous victory over a fighter that on paper he should have not beaten.

The judges scored the five-round bout 48-46, 48-46, 49-46 for the Las Vegas native, who in his last outing stopped another top-ranked foe in Mauricio "Shogun" Rua, and now might finally be removed from the underdog category with Saturday night's win.

"Each punch he threw hurt," said Griffin (15-4), who is notorious for taking punishment.

The turning point of the bout was in Round 2 as he connected with a solid kick to Jackson's left knee that wobbled the champion and buckled him enough that he backed away and limped as the Griffin took the fight to the ground.

Jackson was in obvious pain the rest of the bout, but did not back away.

He traded punches with Griffin and even rocked him multiple times, but the leg seemed to take the steam out of Jackson (27-7).

"I am not going to lie, he hurt my leg. I am not that good of an actor," Griffin said. "He whooped my ass, nothing else. I want to thank Forrest for a great fight, he came a long way."

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