Heavyweights Shane Carwin and Gabriel Gonzaga are likely to clash at UFC 96 on March 7th in Columbus, Ohio, Five Ounces of Pain is reporting.
An up-and-coming heavyweight, Carwin (10-0) is undefeated in his professional career, including impressive back-to-back victories in the UFC. Carwin, a standout wrestler, compiled an 8-0 record before joining the UFC and recording first-round knockouts of Christian Wellisch and Neil Wain in a combined 2-minutes and 15-seconds.
Gonzaga (10-3) earned a heavyweight title shot with four-straight victories to open his UFC career, including his head kick knockout of Mirko “Cro Cop” Filipovic, but was defeated by Randy Couture via third-round TKO in the main event of UFC 74 in August 2007. After dropping his second-straight fight to Fabricio Werdum early this year, Gonzaga rebounded with a first-round submission of Justin McCully at UFC 86 and a first-round knockout of Josh Hendrick at UFC 91 in November.
The March bout marks a significant step up in competition for Carwin and the winner of the matchup will move significantly closer to a heavyweight title shot.
In other UFC 96 news, former UFC light heavyweight champion Chuck Liddell, in a recent radio interview on The Tom Leykis Show, confirmed that he’s working towards a rematch with Keith Jardine at the march event. “There’s been a few names,” said Liddell. “We have Jardine listed. We want him in March.”