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UFC 96: Chuck Liddell-Keith Jardine, Shane Carwin-Gabriel Gonzaga in Columbus

Although nothing official has been announced, a couple of very good fights appear to be on deck for UFC 96 in Columbus.

First, Chuck Liddell, the former light heavyweight champ who is still one of America's most popular MMA fighters, said in a radio interview that he hopes to have a rematch with Keith Jardine in March. That would, presumably, come at UFC 96, which is tentatively scheduled for March 7 at the Nationwide Arena in Columbus.

And then Five Ounces of Pain reported that former No. 1 heavyweight contender Gabriel Gonzaga will fight the undefeated Shane Carwin at UFC 96. That would be a great heavyweight clash, and a huge step up in quality of competition for Carwin, and it would position the winner as a potential heavyweight title contender in late 2009 or early 2010, once Brock Lesnar, Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira and Frank Mir settle the heavyweight championship picture.

The UFC hasn't made anything official yet, but with those two fights, along with a rumored bout between Roger Huerta and Spencer Fisher, UFC 96 is already shaping up to be a good card, even without a title fight.

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