Reports first surfaced Friday evening that
Another bit of news if you're watching on TV and wondering about the status of
And in a bout featuring some of the worst refereeing I've ever seen in any sport,
Now, to the fights ...
And then it comes, a massive right straight folds Gonzaga in half. Two more shots connect as the Brazilian heavyweight and former UFC title contender gets smashed against the fence. One minute. Nine seconds. Shane Carwin is not to be trifled with. Eleven fights. Eleven wins. Not one bout past two minutes, 11 seconds.
The first leg kick from Jardine comes 65 seconds into the fight. No defense from Jackson. Leg kicks plagued him against Griffin, and they could easily cost him tonight. So far Jardine is moving in to attack and out to defend. That's what he did against Liddell, who remained fairly stationary in that fight. Jackson won't be as easy to corral.
Midway through Round 1 and it's even. They stand in the center of the cage, feinting and moving. Best punches of the fight from Jackson moves Jardine backwards. But he held up well.
Rampage is stalking and they scrap to close out the opening period. Jardine is tough to fight because 1) by all accounts he's unflappable, 2) his style is unique in its effectiveness. There are few people that can do what he does. And Jardine's style hasn't changed much over the years.
The second is thus far playing out like the first. In and out from Jardine -- little side to side, though -- that's making it tough for Jackson to find the right distance.
Wild series of three winging power punches from Jackson miss. But Jackson connects shortly after with a compact punch that put Jardine down. Rampage throws a mean salvo, but Jardine guts through it and gets back to his feet. They're in the center of the cage and Jackson shoots a double-leg that puts the fight down.
A low blow from Jardine forces a pause but Jackson wants right back in. This has the makings of war. Jardine is pressing. They're trading now, a great sequence. Both were caught.
Thirty seconds remain and the fight has been a good one thus far. Rampage fires as Jardine stands along the cage. They're clinched to close out there third.
It must be terrible fighting someone like Jardine, who does nothing by the book. Solid jab counter off a Jardine right hand. If Jackson stays calm and doesn't press, he'll be fine. Instead, he shoots a double and puts "The Dean of Mean" on his back. Again though -- incredibly easy, really -- Jardine stands.
Three minutes remain as Jardine moves forward with a low kick. Another leg kick. And a third.
These aren't digging kicks with the shin, but they don't feel good. Jackson seems like he's trying to time the kick and takes a right hand to the mouth.
Overhand right just misses from Jardine as Jackson fires a left hook. Two minutes left.
Nice left hook from Jackson, but Jardine won't go away.
They're in the clinch, the crowd booing, and Lavigne moves in. Power shots. All power shots. They're exchanging and Jardine is on wobbly legs. Jackson landed several solid punches. But to his credit, Jardine won't go away. Jackson puts the exclamation point on the evening by dropping Jardine with a right straight-left hook combination to close out the round.
This isn't a clear-cut decision, but from where I'm sitting Jackson took it 30-27. I wouldn't be shocked if a judge sees it 29-28 Jardine.