by Ken Pishna – MMAWeekly.com (Reporting by Damon Martin)
Quinton Jackson on Saturday night at UFC 96 in Columbus, Ohio, earned a shot at redemption. With a unanimous decision victory over Keith Jardine, he not only got the “W,” but also the right to face UFC light heavyweight champion Rashad Evans at UFC 98 on May 23.
He had a rough go of it against a very aggressive Jardine, however. Though he was put on his backside twice during the bout, courtesy of Jackson’s boxing, Jardine fought back hard, nearly putting the former UFC light heavyweight champion down early on in round two.
The fight also put a $60,000 bonus check in Jackson and Jardine’s pockets for their entertaining efforts that garnered a UFC 96 Fight of the Night designation.
Though there were no submissions Saturday night at the Nationwide Arena, there were plenty of knockouts to choose from. None, however, matched up to the devastating head kick that Ultimate Fighter alumnus Matt Hamill landed on American Kickboxing Academy fighter Mark Munoz towards the end of the opening round.
The kick caused Munoz to crumple to the mat, his head bouncing off his own knee, as he collapsed against the cage. It also earned Hamill the UFC 96 Knockout of the Night and a $60,000 bonus check of his own.
UFC 96 AWARDS AND BONUSES
(Each fighter earned a $60,000 bonus check.)
UFC 96 Fight of the Night:
–Quinton Jackson and Keith Jardine
UFC 96 Knockout of the Night:
UFC 96 Submission of the Night:
–There were no submissions