Thomas Gerbasi, UFC - Former UFC light heavyweight champion Quinton “Rampage” Jackson didn’t get any easy road to his 30th pro win, but after a hard-fought three round unanimous decision win over Keith Jardine in the UFC 96 main event at the Nationwide Arena Saturday night, he not only got the victory, he cleared the way for a shot at the new champ, Rashad Evans." /> 30 the Hard Way - Jackson Beats Jardine, Clears Path for Evans Bout | UFC ® - News
Article

30 the Hard Way - Jackson Beats Jardine, Clears Path for Evans Bout

Thomas Gerbasi, UFC - Former UFC light heavyweight champion Quinton “Rampage” Jackson didn’t get any easy road to his 30th pro win, but after a hard-fought three round unanimous decision win over Keith Jardine in the UFC 96 main event at the Nationwide Arena Saturday night, he not only got the victory, he cleared the way for a shot at the new champ, Rashad Evans.
By Thomas Gerbasi

COLUMBUS, OH, March 7 – Former UFC light heavyweight champion Quinton “Rampage” Jackson didn’t get any easy road to his 30th pro win, but after a hard-fought three round unanimous decision win over Keith Jardine in the UFC 96 main event at the Nationwide Arena Saturday night, he not only got the victory, he cleared the way for a shot at the new champ, Rashad Evans.

“I needed these three rounds,” said Jackson, now 30-7. “There was a lot of pressure on me to fight Keith Jardine. I didn’t think the pressure would get to me. But he’s a tough guy. I didn’t expect him to be that tough.”

Scores were 29-28 twice and 30-27 for Jackson.

The fighters immediately locked up and traded knees, with Jackson able to push Jardine against the fence. After a deadlock, the two were broken up by referee Yves Lavigne, and Jardine (14-6-1) was able to get some solid shots off on Jackson as he moved laterally around the Octagon. 1:45 in, the two locked up again, with Jardine looking for a takedown as he pushed Jackson to the fence. After separating, Jackson patiently stalked but was unable to land with his short range hooks. As the bout approached the four minute mark, Jackson was starting to find his range as he caught the unorthodox Jardine on a couple of occasions, but the bell sounded before either fighter could do any significant damage.

Jardine led off the action in the second round, but his wild shots weren’t landing with any consistency. Jackson continued to stalk quietly, looking for his chance to counter, and with 3:05 left, his opportunity came as he dropped Jardine with a hard left hook. “Rampage” immediately pounced, looking to finish his foe off, but Jardine made it to his feet and survived the onslaught. Less than a minute later, Jackson scored again, this time with a takedown, but he was unable to keep Jardine grounded. With less than two minutes left, the fight was halted briefly after Jardine landed a low kick, but after the action resumed, both fighters went toe-to-toe in a heated exchange that got the crowd roaring, and it was Jackson who finished strong with another barrage before the bell.

Jackson and Jardine met in the center of the Octagon for the final round and immediately started throwing strikes at each other. After the initial burst of action, the two circled, looking to potshot each other. The crowd alternated chants for each fighter, and with 3:45 remaining, Jackson took Jardine to the mat. “The Dean of Mean” rose quickly, and after they tangled up along the fence, the standup battle resumed. As the round went into it’s final 2:30, Jardine became the busier of the two, but Jackson still got his shots in, and in the final minute he started tagging the tiring Jardine with power shots. After some dicey moments, Jardine got back into the fray, but a final knockdown scored by Jackson’s left hook may have sealed the deal for the Memphis native.

As far as his date with the champ, Jackson said simply, but loudly:

“I want my belt back.”


Media

Recent
In Dominick Cruz's return to the Octagon he took back the bantamweight title for TJ Dillashaw. Watch Cruz defend his belt against Urijah Faber at UFC 199 on Saturday, June 4 live on Pay-Per-View.
23/05/2016
Michael Bisping won the biggest fight of his career when he defeated Anderson Silva in front of his home crowd in London, England this past February. Watch Bisping fight for the belt at UFC 199 against Luke Rockhold on June 4.
20/05/2016
Re-watch the thrilling fight from UFC 194 when Luke Rockhold took the middleweight belt from Chris Weidman. Don't miss Rockhold defend his belt against Michael Bisping at UFC 199 on June 4 from Los Angeles.
23/05/2016
Cody Garbrandt has always been a fighter inside and outside of the Octagon. Here the bantamweight talk about training with Team Alpha Male and the importance of family ahead of his main event fight with Thomas Almeida in Las Vegas.
23/05/2016