Is anyone else a little down about UFC 96? The UFC usually puts together some solid shows in Ohio, but this one is lacking all around.
The main event was supposed to be a fight between Rashad Evans and Quinton "Rampage" Jackson for the light heavyweight championship. That fight is interesting enough to sell a PPV. The current main event, Jackson vs. Keith Jardine (Evans wasn't ready to fight again just yet), is not. Jardine has looked good at times (and bad at times, most notably in losses to Houston Alexander and Wanderlei Silva) and this will be an interesting fight, but it's just not a main event-caliber matchup.
The co-main event of Shane Carwin vs. Gabriel Gonzaga is another intriguing fight, but it's not enough for co-main event status. It's a good fight, but it's not going to do much to sell the PPV. I like the Brandon Vera-Mike Patt fight on the undercard and Ohio native Matt Hamill is in action against Mark Munoz, which could be mildly entertaining. Still, in tough economic times, that's a tough decision to plunk down 50 bucks. It may be a good one to catch at a sports bar.
For as much as Dana White likes to say he makes big fights the fans want to see every month, this one is lacking a little bit. I'm not thrilled about UFC 97 either, although I think it's worth a buy to see Anderson Silva in action again and to see Chuck Liddell take on Mauricio Rua, among others.