One quick, gloved jab connected to a jaw with a pop and the crowd erupted as they saw spit and sweat fly across the ring.

Petaluma Fight Night gathered mixed martial arts fighters from across Northern California and from across multiple generations on Saturday at the Petaluma Veteran's Memorial Building.

Aaron O'Niell, a 9-year-old fighter from Petaluma, sat in the cafeteria eating a bowl of chili following his victory in the first fight of the night, surrounded by family and friends wearing white T-shirts that were printed with his name in red.

"It was a tough match and it was fun," O'Niell said. "I'm going to have a party."

His favorite part of the night? The "kicks and the punches and the fights," he said.

The event doubled as a fundraiser for a young girl engaged in her own serious fight. Stephanie Cody, an 8-year-old from Rohnert Park, is currently in remission with Stage 3 Anaplastic Large Cell Lymphoma.

T-shirts, wristbands, and raffle tickets were sold in the lobby in support of Cody, a girl who "loves animals, Legos, and Minecraft," according to flyers handed out at the event.

The young warrior was not in attendance Saturday, but her grandfather, Herb Cody, told a crowd of more than 400 MMA fans that Stephanie was "there in spirit."

"She would be here smiling along, if she could," said Herb Cody. To be fighting a battle against cancer at such a young age is a tough fight, he said, but the family appreciated any and all support.

Local amateur fighters filled the 10-fight card, strutting toward the ring before their fights, accompanied by their chosen music. Later, with bloodied eyebrows, dripping sweat, they awaited results from professional fighter Antonio McKee.

McKee, the former Maximum Fighting Championship Lightweight Champion, was on the mic, announcing the fighters and throwing out T-shirts to the crowd.

The crowd surged when McKee's theatrical, rumbling voice announced the arrival of former UFC light heavyweight champion Quinton "Rampage" Jackson. Fans in the makeshift arena, from floor level to the top of the bleachers, strained and pointed to catch a glimpse.

Jackson took the microphone for a special section of the event that was taped by Spike TV and Bellator MMA. The televised fight featured two fighters trained by retired fighter and UFC Hall of Famer Ken Shamrock and his brother, Frank, the first UFC middleweight champion.

Amateur fighter Brian Wilkinson sported a heavy beard for his fight and drew chants of "Fear the beard!" and "Caveman!" from Jackson and the fans surrounding him in the VIP section. At the end of Wilkinson's fight, with his arm raised, he turned to find Jackson standing and giving a nod of approval.

"It felt awesome," the Oakland native said of his win against Anderson's Jose Chavez. "It felt great and to see Rampage back there it was like, 'Hell yeah.'"

In one of the most exciting fights of the night, Jesse Henderson, from Del Paso Heights, defeated Isaiah Batin-Gonzalez, from Milpitas, in a split decision in the 135-pound title fight.

After, Henderson hoisted his newly polished, gold championship belt. "I sucked tonight," he said in excitement after his glove was raised, "but this is just the beginning."