UFC 96 was an excellent fight card with several exciting bouts. As the dust settled, it appears that a Rashad v. Rampage Jackson fight looms on the horizon. Also, heavyweight powerhouse Shane Carwin will be entering the title picture.
Quinton Jackson def Keith Jardine via unanimous dec- Jardine was not able to quell Jackson's power and swarming style as Jackson overwelmed Jardine en route to a unanimous decision. Jackson landed the heavier punches in all three rounds and managed to score a couple takedowns. Jardine landed a couple leg kicks but couldn't mount much offense.
In the second and third rounds, Jackson was able to knock Jardine to the floor with combinations. But Jardine didn't go out and kept fighting. After the decision was read for Rampage, current light heavyweight champ Rashad Evans emerged in the cage. Rampage obliged with a stare down. It now appears that Rampage will take on Rashad Evans for the title, possibly at UFC 98.
Shane Carwin def Gabriel Gonzaga via KO(punch) R1, 1:09- Carwin came out firing again, proving he belongs among the elite in the heavyweight division. After Carwin ate a couple punches and was taken down, the tide turned. Carwin got to his feet and threw a massive punch that clobbered Gonzaga in the face. With Gonzaga rattled, there was no choice but for the ref to jump in.
Matt Brown def Pete Sell via TKO (strikes) R1, 1:32- Pete Sell decided to throw punches and again it proved to be his downfall. Matt Brown is as tough a brawler as they come and he landed a perfect combination sending Sell to the ground. It appeared as though the ref stopped it, but for some reason he didn't. Sell ate more punishment before the bout was called.
Matt Hamill def Mark Munoz via KO (head kick) R1, 3:53- With Mark Munoz looking to turn the bout into a wrestling match, Matt Hamill wasn't having it. Munoz failed at takedown attempts then started to eat punches. Slightly wobbled with his hands dropped, Hamill fired a high kick that landed flush on Munoz, crumpling him to the canvas. The replay showed Hamill's shin strike Munoz' temple, a recipe for a devastating KO.
Gray Maynard def. Jim Miller via unanimous dec- Gray Maynard lived up to his nickname "The Bully" as he pushed around Miller throughout the fight. Maynard used his boxing effectively, throwing combinations while moving in and out. Miller was unsuccessful in attempting takedowns, eating punishment for his efforts. All the judges had the fight 30-27. Maynard now has 4 straight decision victories and is 5-0 in the UFC.
Tamdan McCrory def Ryan Madigan via TKO (strikes) R1, 3:35- McCrory wanted no part of Madigan's stand-up as he was able to get a takedown and bring the fight to the mat. Once there, McCrory worked for mount and threw punches and elbows until the fight was called.
Kendall Grove def Jason Day via TKO (strikes) R1, 1:32- In a must win fight, Kendall came out firing and ready to trade punches. Day backed him up early, but Kendall connected with a couple overhand rights. With Day dazed, Kendall went to the mat to finish the job.
Jason Brilz def Tim Boetsch via unanimous dec- Brilz brought the fight to Boetsch, utilizing takedowns and ground and pound to pick up the decision.
Brandon Vera def Michael Patt via TKO (leg kicks) R2, 1:27- Brandon Vera came out firing, looking crisp in his punches and kicks. It seemed as if every leg kick landed and by the second round, Patt was having trouble standing. The snapping kicks eventually led to Patt being unable to stand and continue.
Shane Nelson def Aaron Riley via TKO (strikes) R1, 0:44- For some reason this fight wasn't broadcast.