UFC 96 “Jackson vs Jardine” took place earlier today at the Nationwide Arena in Columbus, Ohio.
In the night’s main event, Rampage Jackson took on Keith Jardine for a chance to fight Rashad Evans for the UFC Light Heavyweight Championship this summer.
Mark Munoz made his UFC debut against Matt Hamill following a successful stint in the WEC.
Shane Carwin took a considerable step up in competition facing veteran Gabriel Gonzaga.
Matt Brown and Pete Sell faced off in a welterweight bout.
Gray Maynard looked for another UFC victory against a very game Jim Miller.
Results and wrap-up after the jump.
- Quinton Jackson defeats Keith Jardine via Unanimous Decision
- Shane Carwin defats Gabriel Gonzaga via TKO (Strikes) Round 1
- Matt Brown defeats Pete Sell via TKO (Punches), Round 1
- Matt Hamill defeats Mark Munoz via KO (Head Kick) Round 1
- Gray Maynard defeats Jim Miller via Unanimous Decision
- Tamdan McCrory defeats Ryan Madigan via TKO (Strikes) Round 1
- Kendall Grove defeats Jason Day via TKO (Strikes) Round 1
- Jason Brilz defeats Tim Boetsch via Unanimous Decision
- Brandon Vera defeats Mike Patt via technical knockout (leg kicks) Round 2
- Shane Nelson defeats Aaron Riley via TKO (Strikes) Round 1
Gray Maynard vs Jim Miller: I think it is safe to say Maynard has developed a very hard to beat game plan. Due to his wrestling background he is nearly impossible to take down. Now he also has a technical boxing game that he displayed tonight. I assume his work with Shawn Tompkins on his stand up is finally paying off. He had Miller bloodied in the first and he only got worse as the fight went on. I was big on Miller coming into this fight, but I have now hopped on Gray’s bandwagon. Gray stayed in his face with heavy hands and a huge gas tank. Absolutely grinding Miller down and in the process cementing his stay at the top 5 of the UFC lightweights.
Pete Sell vs Matt Brown: Matt Brown looked awesome. He was sharp from the bell, and two punches into the fight it was pretty clear who was the better fighter. Pete Sell is incredibly tough and took a lot of good shots but he just couldn’t get all his head back after the first few. There was a controversial ref incident, Yves Lavigne appeared to stop the fight about fifteen seconds in, he pulled Brown off and then he saw that Sell was still able to continue. He then instructed Brown to keep fighting, Brown landed another clean shot and Sell was clearly out on his feet. Not wanting to give more damage than necessary, Brown pleaded for a stoppage but Yves told him to continue. Brown had no choice but to land some GnP to finish the deal. Terrrible job by the ref. Brown is an Ohio boy so the crowd loved his performance and his show of class.
Gabriel Gonzaga vs Shane Carwin: Shane Carwin walked right through Gonzaga’s best right hand and persevered to land one of his own that buckled Gonzaga at the knee and rendered him unconcsious. It appeared Gonzaga was in control of the bout for the duration, one minor mistake of leaving his chin out cost him a claim to top contendership. Carwin threw a short right hand with little behind it except the power of his fist, which is a testament to the man’s power because if you saw Gonzaga you would think he got his with a mack truck. Carwin is for real, walked right through adversity to deliver on his potential. Great story for a guy who is 34.
Matt Hamill vs Mark Munoz: From the opening bell Matt Hamill was headhunting. He was always moving forward and chasing down Munoz around the cage. Hamill continues to not use his world class wrestling in favor for his new and improved striking game. Tonight, this was a wise choice. After a few heated exchanges where both guys had landed a few good shots, Hamill backed Munoz against the cage and proceeded to throw an amazing head-kick that dropped Munoz on the spot. It was without a doubt my Knockout Of The Night. Hamill is evolving and it shows, he took a step up against Franklin and came up short. I would love to see him get another oppurtunity. Great win for the Ohio native.
Quinton Jackson vs Keith Jardine: The much anticipated main event did not have a highlight finish like the majority of its predecessors throughout the night, but still had its share of fireworks. The first round Keith Jardine implemented a good game plan, constantly getting off his strikes first and keeping Rampage off balance. When they came out for the second you could tell Rampage had a better grasp on Jardine’s timing. He began to land his jab with consistency, and counter Jardine’s leg kicks with straight lefts. He ended up landing a big jab hook counter that dropped Jardine, he quickly followed but Jardine recovered easily and worked his way back up to his feet. Rampage did appear to be frustrated that Jardine could take his best shot and keep coming. In a throwback to his PRIDE days, he got a big takedown to score some points in the judges eyes at the end of the round. The third round played out similar to the second, Rampage kept landing his jab and jab hook combo’s. He got a takedown about two minutes in to score points. In the last twenty seconds Rampage had Jardine hurt with a couple big shots but he was unable to finish. Rampage took him the decision with scores of 29-28, 29-28, 30-27. He will now have 10 weeks to prepare for his bid to get back the light heavyweight belt from Rashad Evans at UFC 98.
Submission of the Night: N/A
Knockout of the Night: Matt Hamill
Fight of the Night: Quinton Jackson & Keith Jardine ($60k each)
Bonus info courtesy of MMA Junkie
Live Gate & Attendance
Live gate: $1.8 million
Live gate courtesy of MMA Junkie