"I didn't expect him to be that tough," Jackson said after taking the clear-cut victory 30-27, 29-28, and 29-28 on the judges' scorecards. "I won't call him 'Sardine' no more."
Jackson used a mixture of effective punch combinations with takedowns and ground control to wear Jardine down over the course of three rounds. After the fight Jackson was critical of his own performance, saying he felt "overtrained" at the start of the fight -- a problem Jackson admitted he'd rarely experienced before.
He'll likely get little time to recover, as UFC president
The Evans-Jackson bout isn't officially booked yet, however, and if Jackson can't make the quick turnaround it will be
"I want my belt back, but I got to talk to manager and talk some things though," Jackson said. "Then I'll tell Dana what's up."
In the night's penultimate bout heavyweight
"He hit me with one shot and I think I have my first broken nose ever. It stunned me a little bit," said Carwin, who added that a victory over an opponent like Gonzaga ought to be enough to silence some of his detractors and convince people that he's ready for top ten opponents.
"Just keep putting them in front of me," he said. White seemed eager to do just that.
"Beating Gonzaga and beating him the way he did, I don't think there's anyone he can't fight in the UFC."
In other action at UFC 96:
• In one of the evening's most bizarre bouts,
• Xtreme Couture fighter
• MMA'slovable nerd,
• It will go down in the record books as a win for lightweight