Pros Pick: Jackson vs. Jardine

Predictions Aplenty

By Mike Sloan Mar 5, 2009
The UFC returns to Columbus, Ohio, on Saturday with an intriguing bout between former UFC light heavyweight champion Quinton “Rampage” Jackson and dangerous contender Keith “The Dean of Mean” Jardine. contacted dozens of professional fighters and trainers for their opinions on the UFC 96 main event. Some were reluctant to give a prediction, but plenty were willing to lay their reputations on the line and try to forecast what will transpire in the Octagon.

Juanito Ibarra: Come on, son! I’ve always said that Jardine is made for Rampage and I believe that Rampage will take him out with uppercuts. Either an uppercut or knees.

Zac George: Jardine out-uglies him in the staredown, getting the early lead. But Rampage catches him off a kick for the TKO late one/early two.

Elvis Sinosic: This is a tough match to call. Keith has a very unorthodox counter style. He can catch you off on any given day. He also has some inconsistent matches. He can win or lose to the top guys, and it is hard to predict. Rampage has a more consistent style. He has had some ups and downs but has come back looking focused and committed. Both have shown the ability to go the distance in matches, and this being a three rounder, I don’t think cardio will be an issue. Both guys hit hard, though I think Rampage hits harder. Rampage's form is much tighter. Rampage has shown a weakness against leg kicks and Keith has shown good skill with them. If Keith stays on the outside and comes in with the right game plan, he can win this. Keith can spoil anyone’s plans, as he has proven over and over again. If Rampage allows this to go the distance, I can see Keith winning a decision. My prediction, though, is Rampage by KO/TKO in the second or third round as he pushes forward and forces Keith to make a mistake and catches him for it. PS: Bring Elvis back to the UFC.

Eddy Millis: Rampage is back! I believe he will KO Jardine the same way he did (Wanderlei) Silva: left hook, round one.

Ron Frazier: Rampage by KO in round two.

Johny Hendricks: With Rampage, he can always end the fight on the feet, and I think he will end it in the second round. But (with) Keith, you never know where his punches are coming from. I always have to wait for the replay to see what he threw, and that will be very dangerous for Jackson.

Photo by

According to the pros,
Jardine is in trouble.
John Hackleman: I feel this will be a war between two hardcore junkyard dogs. I think they are going to slug it out. I think there will be some powerful slams and some fence-to-fence punching and kicking. But I feel that Rampage is just a little bit quicker, a little more powerful, a little more explosive and I feel like he will win a hard-fought decision. If a left hook or powerful right hook finds its mark, it will be a knockout. That’s my prediction and don’t misquote me or make me sound stupid. Oh, and “The Pit” is spelled with one T.

Cub Swanson: I like Rampage, but I’m gonna say Jardine by a ton of leg kicks.

Travis Lutter: Great fight with Rampage, I think, winning. Can’t wait to watch it.

Gabe Ruediger: Is there really another PPV? Quinton has shown a greater depth in skill and his KOs of Wanderlei and Chuck prove his power. I’ve got to go with Quinton, although Jardine is very tough and skilled.

Kit Cope: Jackson versus Jardine is a battle of complete opposites. It's gonna look like if a werewolf and (someone with) Tourette syndrome had a tussle. The world should have learned by now not to bet against The Dean of Mean. Also, Rampage doesn't do well against muay Thai technique, which Jardine employs. Couple that with a style that's so herky-jerky and epileptic that it's hard to get a bead on it. After three very entertaining rounds, this one ends with Jardine's hand raised for a decision win.

Nick Thompson: Rampage via hit and run.

Scott Bieri: It may not be pretty, but I’m going with Keith “Techno Viking” Jardine. The Mean One will stay out of Page’s power while peppering the former champ low and high en route to a decision.

Duke Roufus: Rampage wins this one, (but) not without a tough effort from Keith.

Erik Paulson: I have had Rampage in at my gym in the past month helping Josh Barnett get ready, and all I have to say is that if Quinton is on like he was on with Josh, then I believe that Keith won’t have a chance with him. Plus he’s super funny.
<h2>Fight Finder</h2>