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UFC 86: Forrest Griffin UFC light heavyweight champion

forrest griffin ufc light heavyweight champion
Forrest Griffin is the new light heavyweight champion of the world, which means it's time for Juanito Ibarra -- the trainer for Quinton "Rampage" Jackson -- to retire.

Probably won't happen.

Regardless, MMA's version of Alfred E. Neuman (as Randy Couture often refers to him) now holds the sport's most coveted title ... and, as usual, he was the most unlikely of champions.

It's a journey that has come full circle for the man who has been credited for putting mixed martial arts on the map with his win over Stephan Bonnar at the conclusion of The Ultimate Fighter (TUF) world debut.

But he endured (as usual) to win a five-round unanimous decision over the much more experienced Jackson. He used a methodical, careful approach that leveraged leg kicks to minimize the punching power of the heavy-hitting Tenessee native.

And it worked.

Griffin survived the onslaught and defied the critics -- and the champion -- to topple Jackson, taking the fight on all three judges scorecards.

Jackson was gracious in defeat, admitting that he was not the better man (even though the final result did not seem to mirror the final decision ... it didn't appear to this writer to be as clear cut). However, it's a result that is not only unexpected, but throws the division in upheaval.

Perhaps it's all for the best -- now we can see Jackson take on Wanderlei Silva for a third time before the 2008 fight campaign expires. And more than likely we will see Griffin take on the winner of the fight between Chuck Liddell and Rashad Evans later on this year.

Good stuff ... I guess.

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