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Quinton Jackson vs. Keith Jardine announced for UFC 96

The UFC has announced that Quinton “Rampage” Jackson will face Keith Jardine in the main event of UFC 96, which is scheduled to take place on March 7 from Columbus, Ohio. The winner of the bout will likely be moved into a title match while UFC light heavyweight champion Rashad Evans‘ first challenger is still open to speculation.

After losing the light heavyweight title to Forrest Griffin in a closely contested match up, Jackson made headlines on July 15 when he led police on a wild chase through the streets of California that ended in arrest. He recently pleaded guilty to multiple charges as part of a plea deal to avoid jail time.

Jackson recently bounced back from his loss to Griffin and his legal woes with a crushing first round knockout victory over Wanderlei Silva, at UFC 92. Jackson has lost two previous times vs. Silva and the win not only avenged the prior defeats, but thrust Jackson right back into title picture. A win over Jardine would likely guarantee a title shot.

Jardine has been on the cusp of a championship match twice with big wins over Griffin and Chuck Liddell but his title dreams were cut short when he dropped matches to Houston Alexander and then Wanderlei Silva following those bouts. Coming off of a win over Brandon Vera at UFC 89, a win over Jackson would give Jardine the kind of momentum needed to earn his first-ever shot at the UFC light heavyweight title.

30 COMMENTS
  • CubanLinx says:

    i wonder who Forrest will face now

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  • tha)_Future says:

    page should win this easy Jardine’s weird style wont prove much of a factor in this bout

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  • Golion says:

    wow machica/tiago getting stiffed

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  • Milliniar says:

    seriously wtf….what has Keith Jardine done to earn this fight?
    IF he wins which i highly doubt he gets a title shot?
    I think this fight is to give Page a W and give time for Griffin to heal. Based on the date that this takes place i really think this means Rashad fights winner of Silva and Machida for his first defense.

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  • JBAR says:

    Hard to say who Forrest will face next until we know when he is healthy enough to train again.

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  • JBAR says:

    Jardine holds wins over Forrest and Chuck so while he may not be the most deserving of a shot if he adds a win over Rempage to that list I really don’t have that big of an issue with it.

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  • BadMonkeyMW says:

    Jardine’s in big trouble. Quinton’s boxing is just too good and he hits too hard for Jardine to win. Plus, Keith has shown he has a weak chin several times.

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  • Dave says:

    Look.

    UFC 95: Stevenson/Sanchez
    UFC 96: Jardine/Jackson
    UFC 97: Chuck/Shogun
    UFC 98: Hughes/Serra

    That’s four straight events, spanning January through May, with non-title main events. All they have to do is pull one more, for UFC 99, and the All Titles UFC 100 is a go. If you look at the way this is all shaping up, and you keep your ear to the streets, you’ll see that this is clearly going down.

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  • mark says:

    all the makings of a great fight both like 2 stan and throw leather, hard call but would like 2 think rampage could win by ko.but dont forget jardine stopped forest in the first round in thier fight……..so

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  • James Dunn says:

    I think that the winner of Lyoto/Silva (Silva) gets a shot and the winner of Rampage Gods And Jardine (Rampage fights the current title holder. Forrest needs to heal up. He has a couple heavy knockouts in the last year. My question is if we are building up to a five fight title night, at 100. What if BJ beats GSP. Does he vacate the lightweight title and defend welter or does he defend both against a lightweight.

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  • BigDave says:

    First off James Dunn, There isnt any chance in hell BJ Penn is beating Rush so you dont have to worry about that.

    Now to the Rampage vs Dean of Mean fight. im looking forward to it Unlike most of the people on here i have a brain and dont just blindly pick a fighter cause he is popular. This fight will be a good one and i think Jardine wins it just by virtue of the fact he wont gas like Rampage surely will in the second round. Jardine by tko.

    FEAR THE NIPPLE TWIST

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  • mark says:

    i agree with bigdave gsp is the best fighter in the world,and would put my house on gsp beating bj penn @ ufc 94.

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  • Tyler says:

    “BigDave” I agree I am looking forward to this matchup I don’t know why people are so easily dismissing Jardine. Quinton has shown a big weakness for leg kicks and who’s better at attacking his opponent with leg kicks than Jardine?
    Also “mark” I agree Gsp over Penn, but I would still put him behind Fedor and Anderson Silva on a P4P list.

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  • JJ Docker says:

    “This fight will be a good one and i think Jardine wins it just by virtue of the fact he wont gas like Rampage surely will in the second round.”

    @ BigDave:
    Did you see the Jackson vs Henderson title fight? Rampage went for 5 rounds at a pretty solid pace and won a decision against a very tough opponent. How you think he “surely” gas in the 2nd baffles me.
    Tough fight for Rampage, really. I think he will TKO Jardine but he better learn to check leg kicks if he is going to.

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  • Axl Rose says:

    Damn, this sucks!! I love both Keith and Jackson but come on man! Are you serious!! This fight makes no sense!! R.I.P. Keith!

    I know what the UFC is thinking. Jackson will knokc the shit out of Keith, so then this will produce the major drama needed for the Rashad-Jackson fight! Crap!

    Enoough with the shit ass fights UFC!!!!!
    Fire bitch Dana already!!!

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  • king mah mah says:

    I really cant see Jardine being much of a threat to Rampage. However, it would be interesting to see Jardine face Rashad (assuming he beats Rampage) just because they train together.

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  • red says:

    I didnt think jardaine Evans would ever fight being from the same camp and trainging partners and all

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  • Cathedron says:

    I’m confused by this fight. But I put my trust in Joe Silva. He’s the best match maker in the business.

    There’s no way they’d put five title fights on one card. It couldn’t fit. They would have to depend on several of them not going the distance. I could see them scheduling three title fights and squeezing in an undercard fight or two.

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  • Lanser says:

    It is 2009 now and we do need a Jardine getting completely knocked out highlight clip.

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  • TS says:

    Not a fight that I’m lookin forward too. Unless there is badass undercard bouts, I might be missin this one. Sure Jardine has wins over Chuck and Forrest but he’s had a terrible loss since then and he just recently beat Vera, who as a LH hasnt been impressive. Def didnt see this matchup comin.

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  • DamonO says:

    Yea this really makes no sense since Page is coming off a win and Jardine off of two losses back to back. And the worst part is that whoever wins is the title contender? I see Rampage being in title contention after that great KO over Silva but Jardine? I guess if Jardine wins in impressive fashion and KO’s Rampage but seriously, will that really happen? Come on! Also, what about Thiago Silva and Lyota Machida? Both of those guys deserve a title shot before either Rampage or Jardine. WTF? I guess this is another part of the ongoing entertainment UFC puts on. Leaving us guessing.

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  • Tyler says:

    DamonO, Jardine beat Vera his last fight.

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  • keenan says:

    jardine is coming off a win against vera not two losses… jardine and evans both said in an interviaew i read last year that they would fight if they had to but jardine was saying evans deserves the shot, and this is after jardine beat chuck and evans didnt know he would fight him yet

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  • millroots says:

    i have never been a fan of the dean of mean and while rampage delivered an amazing (while being unsportsman like) knockout on WS, i am not enthoused and probably won’t purchase this event. To be honest i think Evans should be fighting Rampage now, while the winner of that fighting the winner of machida and silva. Rampage never got a rematch after his title loss and i have always believed a dethroned champion should have the right to fight the champ again after a single defense from the new champion. Anybody can beat somebody once, doing it a second time is what counts. (thats why bj penn will be looking for his teeth on the mat after GSP is done with him)

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  • screwface says:

    at first i was kinda angry reading this topic. i thought rampage vs jardine?? wtf. i dont wanna see this. but then after thinking about it and calming down some, ive come to the conclusion that this is actually a good fight and surprise matchup. i do want to see it :p

    jardine maybe a spotty fighter, but hes the type of guy just when you think hes gonna lose, ends up winning. and its never boring. rampage is an awesome fighter but his chin isnt made of steel. this is one of those fights where almost anything can happen. could be jardine wins with leg kicks or could be he throws a random shot that pops ramp on the button. on the other hand rampage bein rampage could end up knockin jardine out in under a minute. i dont know if id bet on this 1. so dont sleep on this fight, i think this 1 may go the opposite way u think regardless of what u think :p

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  • Axl Rose says:

    this is a no win fight for Rampage. He is supposed to win! If he loses by a lucky punch then it will not look good for him. He should’ve fought the winner of Lyoto vs Silva. That’s what i’m talking about!!

    Joe Silva has been sucking a lot lately man!!!! Franklin vs Henderson!?! Come on now!!! Nobody wanted to see thast shit! In fact, nobody even purchased the payperview! It was all set up just to mess up affliction sales the week after!

    What about Rampage vs Anderson the Spider!?! Daaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaamn!!! Now, that’s what i’m talking about!!! I should be setting up all the fights for the UFC!

    Shogun vs lidell!?!? Please man!! another ass sucking fight! Nobody cares about this fight! Why is Lidell still headlining events? Crazy man!!!

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  • freedom fighter says:

    very right big dave…blow job penn will get his ass kicked at welterweight then go down and get his ass kicked at lightweight by florian… it’s gonna be a bad year for penn,he should retire after all that,hell i heard he can swing on those trees pretty good maybe he can make coconut colada’s for tourists….

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  • JOe K. says:

    I think this fight is a clear indication that the winner of Silva/Machida will get the first LHW title shot. Kudos to the UFC for not trying to plug the “marketable” fighter.

    Just remember that when Jardine is severe underdog he has a tendency to beat the odds (*see Liddell and Forrest).

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  • JBAR says:

    If not for Rampages legal issues he would have got his rematch. Waiting for that mess to be sorted out is what cost him a rematch. Don’t forget that it is still not over, I think he still has probation and community service over the next year. Nothing wrong with giving him another fight to mesh with his new camp before the title fight either.

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  • DamonO says:

    Oops my bad about the Jardine info. I’m usually on top of these things. I guess I forgot considering the outcome of the fight and that it really wasn’t very exciting. That’s my excuse anyway. haha Good looking out.

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