CHICAGO (AP) — In possibly Rampage Jackson's last UFC fight, the former champion was visibly exhausted.
It also was easy to see that Glover Teixeira was well on his way to a unanimous decision Saturday night in front of a capacity crowd at the United Center.
Jackson, the 34-year-old former light heavyweight champion was taken down in all three rounds, but Teixeira (20-2) couldn't finish him. Jackson (32-11) got back to his feet every time. Late in the second round, Jackson tried to shrug off Teixeira's punches, but fatigue appeared to be setting in.
"I really wanted to win that fight," Jackson said. "I kind of wish I fought smart and didn't get hit so much, but I always said I would rather lose a good fight than win a boring one and the fans are telling me that was an exciting fight. So I guess I'm sad but not so sad. I fought like Rampage tonight."
The fight was scored 30-27, 30-27, 29-28.
Jackson, who fought his last fight under his current UFC contract, has been critical of the UFC and how he perceives the organization treats its fighters. He insists the fight was his last in the UFC, but plans on continuing his MMA career.
"He just walked out right now and screamed, 'You are going to miss me,'" White said. "I said, 'I miss you already buddy.' ... Rampage's biggest problem is that he doesn't always train. He doesn't always stay in shape. If he took this sport 100 percent, hardcore, serious, God knows what that guy would be able to accomplish, but he doesn't."
Demetrious Johnson successfully defended his flyweight title in the main event, unanimously outpointing John Dodson.
Dodson, fighting at 125 pounds, landed left hands twice in the second round, sending Johnson to the ground. In the third round, Johnson had a takedown and landed a knee to get back in the fight. Johnson was warned after two illegal knees, a low blow in the first round and an illegal knee in the fourth round.
Johnson (17-2-1) started taking control late in fourth land, landing a series of knees to Dodson's head and a series of punches as Dodson (15-6) tired. It continued in the fifth and final round, as Dodson couldn't defend repeated knees to his head.
Johnson struggled in the first two rounds.
"I got dazed a little bit, but I am in good shape," Johnson said. "It is going to happen. You are going to get hit."
In a lightweight bout, Anthony Pettis (14-2) landed a left kick to Donald Cerrone's body and followed with a left jab in the second round, knocking Cerrone (19-5) to the ground and winning his third straight fight.
"Shutting that guy up was the biggest thing for me," Pettis said. "Now I never need to hear about that guy again. He's done. He got beat in one round. Goodbye."
Pettis put himself in a position for the lightweight UFC title and asked the question to UFC President Dana White.
"I am not scared to fight anybody. I want the champ ASAP," Pettis said. "Dana White what do I have to do for this title fight?"
Pettis came off an 11-month layoff after shoulder surgery.
In another main card fight, 30-year-old Chicago native Ricardo Lamas (13-2) dropped a series of elbows and punches on 24-year-old Erik Koch (13-2) before the featherweight bout was stopped by referee John McCarthy. Lamas had Koch pinned to the ground and went to work on Koch's bloodied face.