The fight was for the UFC light heavyweight championship with Jackson defending. The two had coached opposite each other on the seventh season of The Ultimate Fighter. Jackson had jokingly bet his purse for the fight that it wouldn't go to the judges.
The first round began. Griffin began landing leg kicks after about twenty seconds. Griffin then began landing repeated leg kicks and occasional body kicks. The crowd began chanting 'Forrest'. Griffin landed a good right and then another. Jackson landed a good left and then another left followed by a right. With about two minutes and twenty-four seconds remaining in the first round, Jackson landed some very good punches and a left hook to the temple as well, staggering Griffin towards the cage. Griffin backed off and then began attacking, backing up Jackson with a combination and a kick, and clinched with Jackson against the cage. With two minutes remaining, the fighters backed off and began exchanging strikes once more. At this point, Jackson's leg began buckling every time a leg kick landed on his knee. With one minute and fourteen seconds remaining in the first round, Jackson knocked Griffin down with a big uppercut and went for him. Griffin quickly pulled guard and controlled Jackson's arms. Jackson brought Griffin over towards the cage. With twenty-five seconds remaining, Griffin scrambled to his feet and they clinched once more. Griffin landed a pair of excellent knees to Jackson's stomach and backed off. Jackson threw a leg kick. The crowd was roaring as the first round ended. Jackson won the round definitively.
The second round began. Within seconds, Griffin resumed with the leg kicks. The first leg kick hurt Jackson bad and his leg buckled and he staggered backwards towards the cage, hopping on one leg. Griffin threw another vicious leg kick. Jackson went to retaliate, Griffin grabbed the standing guillotine and began kneeing Jackson in the face before bringing him down towards the ground. Griffin released the choke, settling for being on top of Jackson on the ground as Jackson maintained a wide-open half-guard. Griffin passed the guard after a long time of grinding elbows and went to side control. Griffin continued throwing short elbows. Griffin moved to the mount, throwing strikes and elbows. Two minutes still remained in the round at that point. Jackson simply attempted to survive until round three. Griffin continued throwing short elbows. As Rogan stated, 'they're not doing too much damage but they're not fun.' The second round came to conclusion. Griffin had won the round.
The third round began. Jackson came out without putting weight on his injured leg. Griffin seemed very confident. They circled. The crowd began chanting 'Forrest'. With three minutes and twenty-three seconds remaining in the third round, Jackson leapt forward and landed a nice uppercut combination on Griffin and dazed his opponent. Griffin attempted to retaliate with leg kicks, but Jackson had wisened up and he avoided nearly every kick. He began trying to check the kicks. Jackson began moving ahead on his left leg a bit better. Jackson landed a good body punch, punishing Griffin's midsection. Griffin landed a Superman punch and a body kick. Griffin semed very calm, looking up at the time and landing an inside leg kick on Jackson's bad knee. With thirteen seconds remaining in the third round, Griffin pushed forward. Jackson responded and pushed forward with another good combination of his own. Griffin moved backwards fluidly. The round came to conclusion. The third round was tough to call, but it was Forrest's in the end. I'd give it to Rampage.
The fourth round began. Jackson seemed much more lively, leading with a left and landing a right after. They exchanged strikes and Jackson caught Griffin with a hook. They exchanged big uppercuts again and then Griffin brought Jackson down atop him. Griffin was cut above his right eye where the scar tissue was opened by the big uppercuts. The crowd now began chanting 'Rampage'. Forrest looked for a triangle and locked in the choke deep. Jackson lifted Griffin, but Griffin wisely grabbed ahold of Jackson's legs and dropped the choke and pulled his guard once again. Griffin tried for an armbar but Jackson escaped and landed some ground-and-pound and they stood. Griffin began landing kicks once more, backing Jackson up against the fence. They came back to the center of the Octagon. Jackson pushed forward, but Griffin responded. The cut was really opened up after that exchange. Jackson pushed forward once more, landing a big left followed by a right and another left. He landed another combination to the head of Griffin, followed by a hard body shot combination by Jackson. The fourth round ended. It was Jackson's round.
The fifth and final round began. The crowd began chanting 'Forrest' once more. Jackson landed a good strike and rocked Griffin, but Griffin kept coming doggedly. Griffin continued attempting to buckle Jackson's left leg. Jackson landed his own leg kick. Three minutes remained in the fifth round. Griffin landed a trio of punches and then a body kick. Jackson came in for a hook and ate another strike. Griffin landed another leg kick and Jackson pushed forward and punished Griffin's body with a strike of his own. Jackson landed a Superman punch. One minute remained. The crowd began going wild. The fighters exchanged. Jackson looked more wobbled on the injured leg, unable to push forward effectively. Jackson landed a body shot and pushed forward. Ten seconds remained. The fighters exchanged explosively and Griffin landed knees in the clinch and the round ended. The fighters hugged and moved to their corners. The round was Forrest's. Griffin looked worried as they went to the judge's scorecards. 48-46, 48-46, 49-46. Griffin was declared the new winner by unanimous decision and the new undisputed light-heavyweight champion.