He managed to do just enough to take a split decision.
Right from the outset, it was clear "Rampage" wanted to control the center of the cage and push the action. Machida opened by circling and looking for leg kicks. Jackson was trying to time him and was only pushing in with punches when Machida was throwing kicks.
They clinched against the cage and reversed each other multiple times mixed in with plenty of knees and foot stomps. It was a very close opening round.
The second round saw even more clinch work from both fighters. "Rampage" was able to land a takedown though and that very well could have won him the round. There was a flurry to end the round and Jackson went down but it looked like he tripped over Machida's feet more than anything.
The third round saw plenty of action.
"Rampage" opened the final frame throwing leg kicks, which surprised everyone in the building. Both fighters knew at this point it was a very close fight.
Out of nowhere, the "Dragon" swarmed Jackson and rocked him with punches. "Rampage" only covered up as he was pushed backwards. He tried to answer with a few shots of his own but Machida grabbed him and earned a takedown.
He worked very well on top and passed from half guard to side control and eventually full mount. He threw his leg over to look for an armbar and "Rampage" turned over and picked him up to execute a slam.
Machida smartly let go of his arm and they reset.
Jackson got aggressive to end the fight but Machida clinched up and earned another takedown and worked submissions as the round ended.
It was a close fight that could have gone either way but when the scores came in they read 29-28, 28-29 and 29-28 in favor of Quinton "Rampage" Jackson.
Both fighters in their post-interviews said they had nothing but respect for each other. They also said it was such a close fight that the only right thing to do would be to have an immediate rematch. We'll see if that's the route the UFC decides to go.