COLUMBUS, Ohio – The Ultimate Fighting Championship on Saturday night returns to Columbus, Ohio for the third straight year on the same weekend as the Arnold Classic. Former UFC light heavyweight champion Quinton Jackson faces Keith Jardine in the main event of UFC 96 at the Nationwide Arena.
The UFC 96 fighters weighed in at the arena on Friday afternoon. With all 20 fighters making weight, all 10 bouts are now officially on the docket.
A lot of attention has focused on Keith Jardine and the possibility of him fighting teammate and current light heavyweight champion Rashad Evans in the future. He says he doesn’t plan on it, while UFC president Dana White says it is inevitable if both continue winning. Of course, with Jardine facing Jackson on Saturday night, such talk is a bit premature.
“I like Jardine and I like Rashad. But Dana’s right, this is mixed martial arts, and it’s a business. So I’m gonna try and help you out. I got your back,” quipped Jackson to Jardine, planning to defeat the Jackson’s MMA fighter so that it becomes a moot point.
“Thanks for looking out for me, man,” responded Jardine. “I couldn’t say yes to this fight fast enough, because I could match myself up against one of the greatest of all time.”
Aside from the main event, there are several other pivotal bouts on tap for UFC 96, but none as telling as a heavyweight showdown between Gabriel Gonzaga and Shane Carwin. Gonzaga is trying to work his way back into the title picture, while Carwin – undefeated in 10 professional bouts – looks to prove himself as a contender in the UFC heavyweight division.
(All weights in pounds.)
UFC 96 Main Card Bouts:
-Quinton Rampage Jackson (205) vs. Keith Jardine (204)
-Gabriel Gonzaga (257.5) vs. Shane Carwin (259.5)
-Matt Brown (170.5) vs. Pete Sell (170)
-Matt Hamill (205) vs. Mark Munoz (204.5)
-Gray Maynard (155) vs. Jim Miller (154.5)
UFC 96 Preliminary Bouts:
-Tamdan McCrory (170) vs. Ryan Madigan (169)
-Kendall Grove (185) vs. Jason Day (184.5)
-Tim Boetsch (205) vs. Jason Brilz (204)
-Brandon Vera (205) vs. Mike Patt (204.5)
-Aaron Riley (155) vs. Shane Nelson (155)