Sunday, July 6, 2008 | 1:27 a.m.
The Ultimate Fighting Championship crowned a new light heavyweight champion Saturday night when Forrest Griffin outpointed Quinton "Rampage" Jackson in a five-round unanimous decision before a sellout crowd of 11,172 at the Mandalay Bay Events Center.
Griffin (16-4 mixed martial arts) won his first UFC title by scores of 49-46 and 48-46 twice on the judges' scorecards to become the organization's 205-pound champ.
"I won and obviously that's the best thing," Griffin said. "I'm happy with the way things turned out. But there was a lot of stuff I was planning on doing that I didn't do, a lot of things I worked on that didn't work out. I have a few ideas on things I can fix."
Griffin, a plus-200 betting underdog at the Mandalay Bay sports book, said he would agree to scheduling a rematch of the closely contested fight.
"There's always a 50-50 chance when you go in the octagon that you're going to get whooped," Jackson said. "I didn't think Forrest could hang with me. Much respect."
Jackson (27-7) was putting his belt on the line for the second time after winning it by stopping Chuck Liddell last year.
Also on the main card of UFC 86, Patrick Cote (14-4) won a three-round split decision against Ricardo Almeida (9-3) in a middleweight fight; Joe Stevenson (34-8) won by tapout via guillotine choke at 2:57 of Round 2 against Gleison Tibau (27-5) at lightweight; Josh Koscheck (14-2) beat Chris Lytle (35-15-4) by unanimous decision at welterweight; and Tyson Griffin (12-1) won a unanimous decision against Marcus Aurelio (14-6) in a lightweight bout.
In the preliminaries, Justin Buchholz (9-2) stopped Corey Hill (2-1) at lightweight; Melvin Guillard (40-8-3) stopped Dennis Siver (11-6) at lightweight; Cole Miller (14-3) stopped Jorge Gurgel (16-4) at lighweight; and Gabriel Gonzaga (9-3) stopped Justin McCully (8-4-2) in a heavyweight bout.