Sunday, March 1, 2009

UFC 96 Preview

UFC 96 takes place this Saturday in Columbus, Ohio. The fights will be available on ppv. Here is the current line-up.


Quinton Jackson vs. Keith Jardine- The main event could be a quick one or a long battle. Both fighters have produced dramatic results in the UFC. Jardine (14-4, 6-3 UFC) has knocked out former champ Forrest Griffin and won split decisions over Chuck Liddell and Brandon Vera. Jardine, a veteran of TUF 2, has an unorthodox stance and throws very good leg kicks.

Rampage Jackson (29-7, 4-1 UFC), the former champ, is almost guaranteed a title fight against Rashad Evans if he wins. Rampage won the belt with a knockout victory over Chuck Liddell and defended with a decision victory over Dan Henderson. With a long lay-off Jackson lost a razor thin decision to Forrest Griffin before recently defeating Wanderlei Silva in brutal fashion. Expect Rampage to throw big bombs from his feet. If a KO doesn't happen, I expect Rampage to look for a takedown.
rampage jackson Pictures, Images and Photos
(Rampage Jackson pictured)

Matt Hamill vs. Mark Munoz- This will be a battle of two former top notch wrestlers. Hamill is a 3 time Division III national champion. Munoz is a 2 time All-American, winning the Division I title in 2001. Hamill was a stand-out in TUF 3, where he beat veteran fighter Mike Nickels. Hamill (5-2, 5-2 UFC) has the UFC experience factor, getting TKO's against tough opponents in Tim Boetsch, Reese Andy and Seth Petruzelli. His loss to Michael Bisping was perhaps one of the worst decisions in the sport.
matt hamill Pictures, Images and Photos
(Matt Hamill pictured)

Mark Munoz (5-0, 0-0 UFC) won twice in the WEC before they folded the 205 division. Munoz looks for the takedown early and often, and if he gets it has a good ground and pound game. With Munoz stating he will test his wrestling against Hamill, this will make for a quality fight. Both are extremely strong.
UFC Fighter Mark Munoz Pictures, Images and Photos
(Mark Munoz pictured)

Shane Carwin vs. Gabriel Gonzaga- This match will prove whether or not Shane Carwin belongs in the heavyweight elite. Carwin (10-0, 2-0 UFC) is an absolute beast, standing 6'4" with 265 pounds of pure muscle. Carwin won the Division II national championship in 1999, and was a runner-up in 1998 and 1997. He knocked Christian Wellish out cold in his UFC debut and Neil Wain in his second fight. No fighter has lasted more than 3 minutes with Carwin.
SHANE CARWIN Pictures, Images and Photos
(Shane Carwin pictured)

Gabriel Gonzaga is no slouch himself, with his young career capped with a devastating head kick KO of uber striker Mirko Cro Cop. Gonzaga (10-3, 6-2 UFC) is a BJJ blackbelt with 6 submissions on his resume. He dropped a tough loss to Randy Couture in his shot at the heavyweight title, and lost to Fabricio Werdum via TKO in his next match. He has since rebounded with a KO of Josh Hendricks and kimura over Justin McCully.
Gabriel Gonzaga Pictures, Images and Photos
(Gabriel Gonzaga pictured)

Matt Brown vs. Pete Sell- Matt Brown (8-7, 2-1 UFC) will look to stand and trade as brawling is his forte. With a solid BJJ background Sell (8-4, 2-4 UFC) is best when looking to utilize his submission game. Sell gets in trouble when he stands and swings for the fences, which would play into Brown's game.

Gray Maynard vs. Jim Miller- Maynard (6-0, 4-0 UFC) has been climbing the 155 pound ranks with solid wrestling and ground and pound. Then knock on Maynard has been a lack of excitement in his fights, he may try to push the pace here. Miller (13-1, 2-0 UFC) won over Matt Wiman in his last fight on a weeks notice. He will have more time to prepare for this one, but the fight will boil down to whether Miller can pull a submission off his back.


Ryan Madigan vs. Tamdan McCrory
Jason Day vs. Kendall Grove
Tim Boetsch vs. Jason Brilz
Mike Patt vs. Brandon Vera
Shane Nelson vs. Aaron Riley

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