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Keith Jardine: ‘Although my career is at a crossroads my story is only half written.’

When word surfaced last week that Keith Jardine had been released by the UFC on the heels of his fourth consecutive loss, and fifth his his last six bouts, it was greeted by most with relative acceptance…including “The Dean of Mean” himself. Jardine, who was on the wrong end of a majority decision against Matt Hamill at the Ultimate Fighter Finale 11, took to his website to offer his thoughts on receiving a pink-slip and what his immediate plans are:

“Last week I was let go by the UFC. I was sad to get the news but it was expected. I’ve always been proud to be a UFC fighter and they have been real good to me. I can’t help but to feel a bit like I’m losing a family.

As for now, I’m more motivated than ever. I’m going to take a vacation for a week then get back to work. Already, there are a lot of offers for fights coming I’m. Some are exciting. Starting over doesn’t sound so bad to me. Although my career is at a crossroads my story is only half written. I have a lot of fight left in me and I continue to improve with every fight. Anyway, I’m best when the chips are stacked against me and I will make it to the top. Thanks to all of my fans.”

The 34-year old made his Octagon debut in November 2005 and ran up a 5-2 record in his initial seven fights, including a controversial decision loss to Stephan Bonnar and wins over 205-pound champions Chuck Liddell and Forrest Griffin. Jardine’s run of bad luck back preceding his release dates back to UFC 84 and a brutal thirty-six second knockout loss to Wanderlei Silva.

  • Mad_Hatter_XX says:

    Good luck. Really not a bad fighter. Maybe he should try a different group to work with maybe take on a few lesser opponents and see if he can turn it around.

  • Lethal Liquid says:

    Actually his fall started earlier than Wanderlei. His fall started when he looked pass Houston Alexander. That aside I think Keith needs to go to Strikeforce and re-brand himself. Besides they weren’t paying him squat anyway.

  • LiverPunch says:

    I agree that Jardine has been on the way down for a while LL but I really don’t think SF will touch him for a long time. SF needs LHWs but not guys on 4 fight losing streaks and without a doubt, not guys on a 4 fight losing streak from their biggest comp the UFC. It just wont happen. SF has very little to gain and a lot to lose. Jardine is off to the wilderness and I doubt we will see him again in SF, Dream, WVR or the UFC for at least a year or 2 if at all. No one wants to sign a guy who has lost 6 from his last 8 in a major comps division. Smaller shows and the like are where he will TRY to string some wins together. I don’t think he can do enough to ever make it back based on skill and ranking. Maybe popularity, but that fades if you keep losing.

  • El Toro says:

    Greetings everyone from a brand new member but long time MMA fan. Looking forward to posting here often. This site is about the only MMA site left where 2 opposing opinions can still have a civilzed and intelligent debate without out it turning into a mindless, profanity ridden insult hurling contest. Keep up the great posts and debates.

    You have to admire the Dean of Means’ positive oulook on things but I agree with both LL and LP. His downfall started after the Griffin fight when his ego ended up getting the best of him. We can all remember how cocky and irritated he was having to fight a no name like Houston Alexander. He passed him off as a joke and ended up getting KTFO’d and having his mouthpiece knocked into the next zip code. Although he did have some success after that fight, (Liddell-Vera) his inability to consistently stick to a smart game plan plunged him into a string of wildly inconsistent performances and KO losses. I really don’t think we’ll see him back fighting any top level competition looking at the caliber of light heavies currently in the UFC. He just doesn’t posses the talent, mentality, or natural athleticism to defeat the caliber of the top opponents found in the 2010 UFC roster. I can’t even see him being able to be competitive with the top LH’s in SF really. Jardine will no doubt continue to make a living fighting but I think he will turn into a Tim Sylvia and have to try to scrape together whatever wins he can by fighting in moms and pops organizations.

  • Dufresne says:

    I like Keith. He may not be my favorite fighter, and his style is as odd as they come, but he’s always come across as a legitimate and likable guy. From what I’ve heard from his camps he’s also one of the more intelligent fighters out there.

    I think Keith will probably be fine in the long run. He may not be getting the bigger paydays he’s used to from fighting with main-card status in the UFC, but he’s got a very recognizable name and appearance plus a reputation for always showing up ready to scrap so I’m sure he’ll be getting a steady stream of invites and offers in the coming months.

    Even if he never gets back to the same level of prominence, I’m sure with his knowledge base, experience, and unusual fighting style he’ll always be in demand as either a training partner or a coach.

  • Lethal Liquid says:

    Keith has name recognition. Strikeforce is running out of matchups at light heavyweight. Beggers can’t be choosers. They require depth and he provides that along with his resume

  • cocoonofhorror says:

    it baffles me how some fans consider him a good fighter. it seems clear to me that he is far worse than just “unorthodox”. i would call him “uncoordinated” or just “not good”.

  • twyg says:

    If he had a better recent record, and it was a contract dispute rather then being let go I could see SF picking him up. He needs to go to regional shows and win. Give it a year and a half and a few wins and he’s back in the UFC or SF. Man to think that he could go to SF and be a title contender right now speaks as to how weak their LHW division is. He needs to do something, because at 34 time is not on his side.

  • LiverPunch says:

    I agree they need more LHWs but surely co-pro and Filho, Arona, O’Brian, Babalu, Mo, Mousasi, Hendo and co can fill the void until new blood comes up. I was hoping Stanislav Nedkov would go to SF but the UFC have picked him up too (I think we will hear a lot more of him). I just think SF would see it as a lose lose situation if they were to sign Jardine.

  • Lethal Liquid says:

    These are the same folks that took on Sokojoulj( sure I misspelled that) and that was a sinking ship. Plus I think the Ufc was courting Arona. Filho is another reject along with Babalu. There’s a pattern here

  • Rece Rock says:

    I’m sure there is plenty of fight left in jardine, I still like the idea another poster threw out in a previous thread & that was for Jardine to go to BFC tourney… I think he will be able to get the types of fights he needs to get somewhat back on track and these young guys will get to test themselves against a fighter whom just left the level of competition they are looking to get to. It’s a win win for the fighters and I’m sure bellator would like a familiar (although ugly) face to be able to advertise.

  • hindsightufuk says:

    Paulo Filho is a reject with a 19-1 record? the guy has major problems, fucked up one time and got dropped. Admittedly he’s fucked up numerous times since, but he’s still a class fighter, just has some issues he needs to sort out. Babalu isnt a reject either, he got sacked, if he didnt hold that choke i reckon he would still be in the UFC now.
    Those are two very good fighters

  • Jstew3785 says:

    “Paulo Filho is a reject with a 19-1 record? the guy has major problems, fucked up one time and got dropped. Admittedly he’s fucked up numerous times since, but he’s still a class fighter, just has some issues he needs to sort out. Babalu isnt a reject either, he got sacked, if he didnt hold that choke i reckon he would still be in the UFC now.
    Those are two very good fighters”
    Exactly. Just because someone used to fight in the UFC and doesn’t now doesn’t mean they’re rejects. Babalu and Filho are definitely still good fighters and still relevant in their respective weight classes. Jardine will more than likely win 2 or 3 fights in local shows and then come back to the UFC.

  • MCM says:

    I can’t believe how many people are writing Jardine off as a has been or never was. Yes, he’s lost a lot of fights recently but it’s not like he was getting beat down every fight.

    He lost to Rampage but was on the verge of winning a split dec until the last 30 seconds or so, and many people here still see Rampage as a world beater. He lost to Bader but was looking great and wining that fight until the middle of the 3rd round and Bader is one of the UFC’s top LHW prospects and should be in title contention in a year of so.

    It’s obvious that Keith has a lot to work on, and his chin is no help to him, but to suggest that he’s some kinda glorified can is ridiculous. If he can take guys like Rampage, Hamill and even Bader into the late rounds how is he not qualified to be in there with them.
    2 wins in smaller orgs and he’ll be back in the UFC.

    What I’ve always thought he needed to do was change camps. Greg Jacksons is a great camp, but I’d love to see what someone like Sityodtong or Blackhouse could do with him.

  • Lethal Liquid says:

    Put to you guys this way neither one of those guys will compete in light heavyweight or middle weight division in the UFC. Filho because of mental and substance weakness. Babulu because that division is too stacked. Not saying their cans just that the UFC rejected them because that’s exactly what happen

  • Lord Faust says:

    I look forward to seeing Keith fight again. I’ve been a fan of his since the beginning, on the Ultimate Fighter. I appreciate what he brings to fights; a unique style, and the willingless to keep giving his all until either the time runs out, or someone goes to sleep.

    I hope he can continue to improve, build up some good wins, and then come back to the UFC and make a serious run. Whether or not it happens; who knows; but I’ll be watching.

  • captchaos says:

    There are not many fighters in MMA who have fought tougher comp than jardine…
    Thigo Silva
    Vanderlai silva

    If that’s not a who’s who I don’t know what is. When you fight that much good competition you are going to get some losses. Here is the interesting part… Take all of those guys and see how they would fare against one another. For example take Forrest and see how he would fare against that whole crew and so on… Keith needs a couple lower tier guys to build his confidence back up and than maybe he comes back…

  • JBAR says:

    Keith is the kind of fighter that an organization needs. He always comes to fight. He has fought some of the best LHW’s, won some and lost some but typically was not dominated in those fights. You need guys like that to test your up and coming fighters. He is good enough that if they do not bring their best to the ring they will lose and even if they win they will be battle tested. That is the kind of fight you need between the lower tier fighters and steppin up to take on the top tier guys.

  • mu_shin says:

    Good points from JBAR. This is not just the story of Jardine, but the ongoing development of the sport. I’ve written previously about the long history in boxing of the journeyman fighter, a guy who may have never been in championship contention, but a fighter who always gave the fans a good entertaining fight, providing a strong test to any opponent, and filled the role of gatekeeper, testing an up and coming fighter’s mettle to see if they have the goods to compete at a higher level.

    While Jardine’s performances in the octagon have been inconsistent, and the latter portion of his run with the UFC has been less than stellar, as many posters mentioned above, the guy has fought a long list of top echelon opponents, and has beaten some of them convincingly. When Keith agrees to fight, he brings it all, and it’s that quality that will help him get work in the smaller promotions. Wherever he fights, fans will appreciate the heart and tenacity of Keith Jardine, as many of us have during his time with the UFC.

    As MMA grows, and the divisions in the various promotions encompass more experienced well trained fighters, I think we’ll see a place develop for the tough, talented journeyman like Jardine, who will always give his all for the fans. Wish him well, and hope he fights well in the future.

  • cocoonofhorror says:

    if you think Sardine could challenge for a belt in Strikeforce you just arent paying attention.

  • Dufresne says:

    After looking back on his record I’m starting to agree with El Toro. Before fighting Alexander he was 4-1 in the UFC with his only loss being to Bonnar, and a win over Forrest. After Alexander he went 2-4. Granted after he fought Houston he was given generally tougher opponents than before, but I do think those uppercuts may have messed his chin up permanently. Heck, before MMA he tried professional boxing and was 3-0-1, so he evidently had a better chin back then.

    As for Filho, that’s just a bad story there. He’s one of the most gifted fighters on the planet today, but if he can’t get over his drug problems he’ll never make it in MMA like he should. Considering that he’s failed to make weight once (WEC, a title defense no less), failed to show up to weigh ins once (DREAM), pulled out of two fights due to drug addiction (WEC and Bitetti), and pulled out of another bout a few days in advance due to “visa issues” (Bellator) I can’t see any of the big promotions trying to secure him until he has shown he is clean and reliable enough to show up on time, at weight. The only company he hasn’t screwed at this point is SF, and even they can see that he’s a gigantic risk.

    Babalu is another top tier fighter in the LHW division. I mean the guy is 36-8 with wins over Lawler, Sonnen, Jeremy Horn, and Shogun. His losses are mostly top tier guys as well; Chuck x2 (when Chuck was still unbeatable), Fedor, Overeem, Henderson, and Mousasi and two lower ranked guys in Randleman and Jason Lambert. Definitely not the record of a “can.” He’s not in the UFC these days because of his in ring behavior, and rightly so. As long as he stays out of trouble in SF I expect him to be near the top of the division for a while longer.

  • Kamakosmo says:

    Sure, “BafoonofHorror” (you spoofed his name) he could very well fight for the belt in Strikeforce…if he earns it. I’ll say it here….Strikeforce is the Minors compared to the UFC, and here’s his (and other’s) chance to make it back to the bigs. If you argue or cry that the UFC is not the majors of MMA, you just hate Dana…comes to grips with that. I do not care what Strikeforce pays their big names (usually more than the UFC’s), because thats all they have, a handful of names. The UFC has the ability to carry a PPV event twice a month with stacked cards. They also have the resources to put on free shows for all to see.
    Point being….Jardine will be a huge sign for Strikeforce. Good luck to him….He does what you’ll never do Bafoon.

  • LiverPunch says:

    Jardine is on a massive slump in form. Sokadjou is no comparison because he won 2 in a row before going to SF. If Jardine leaves wins 2 in a row and well maybe there will be interest.
    Filho is not a reject and neither is Babalu. Babalu was kicked out after a win not rejected. Filho was the no.1 MW in the world for about a year and has only lost once since.
    Kamakosmo you are just being stupid. Majors and minors? If you think a guy who has lost 4 in a row and has just lost to Hamill is a big signing you are even more naive than your post makes you sound.If you are saying that the UFC is the biggest…duhhh really? if you are saying SF picks up shitty UFC rejects, tell me who picked up Baroni?
    If Jardine goes to SF I will be astonished. He wont because Cocker has a brain and probably uses it.

  • Lethal Liquid says:

    The UFC has the most top level fighters. True.
    Depth in all division
    Strikeforce doesn’t meet that criteria at all. It is the minors. Outside of 3 names on their roster( Shields,Fedor,Overeem, Werdum) everybody else would be middle of the road in the UFC. Matt Hamill would be their light heavyweight champ. Jardine could compete and challenge for their belt easily


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