And while both fighters did what they could to impose their game on the other, it was ultimately "Rampage" who was able to keep the fight standing with some of the best takedown defense he's shown in years.
It helped that Hamill was telegraphing his shots ... and not setting them up with punches.
He did stay in tight and exchange with the heavy-handed Jackson, but paid for it mightily. By the end of the opening frame, Hamill was cut and clearly overmatched.
Wrestling may be the best base for MMA, but it won't help a lick if it's a glorified boxing match.
Heading into the event, the light heavyweight title picture was cloudy and unclear. Speculation was rampant that either Lyoto Machida or Jackson would be the next man to challenge 205-pound kingpin Jon Jones.
Then Dana White put an end to all that, making clear before the main card went live that if "Rampage" was to defeat Hamill -- and come away healthy -- he would be awarded a title shot.
Mission accomplished ... on both ends.
Hamill was game, eating plenty of punches and knees on the way to the judges scorecards. But he mounted next to no offense and offered very little in the way of defense, as well.
The question now becomes -- will White have a change of heart and decide to give Machida the title shot over Jackson? The boo birds that made their voice heard in the waning seconds of this fight had to have been heard by Dana White, loud and clear.
Who deserves it more? "Rampage" or "The Dragon?"