Once upon a time, Keith Jardine was considered a possible contender to the UFC light heavyweight title after beating eventual champion Forrest Griffin at UFC 66.
Unfortunately, it just wasn’t in the cards for “The Dean of Mean” after running into Houston Alexander, who knocked him off the pedestal he was prematurely placed on.
Jardine admits things may have came to him a little too easily and that he was ill-prepared for the possibility of being “the guy” in the UFC.
“Two years ago I beat Forrest [Griffin], I beat [Chuck] Liddell, I beat those guys but I knew that I wasn’t the fighter I wanted to be,” Jardine told the media. “I wasn’t ready to carry the UFC torch yet so I went back to work and I’ve been working hard ever since.”
After his surprising win over Chuck Liddell at UFC 76, many had Jardine favored going into his showdown with former Pride champion Wanderlei Silva.
Again, it seemed as though Jardine may have been in over his head. It took Silva all of 36 seconds to knock him out and send him back to the drawing board.
UFC color commentator Joe Rogan likens Jardine’s awkward style to that of a chimpanzee, but it was something that worked very well for him. That was up until Jardine decided to become a more conventional fighter.
“I had to go through these growing pains, I tried to be too polished and I tried to be too planned in everything I was doing,” he explained.
What has always worked for the Greg Jackson trained fighter was his ability to be unpredictable and he believes that he’s gone back to the style that was so good to him in the past.
“I think I’m ready to let loose and exhibit a lot of the stuff I’ve been doing,” the former TUF alum stated.
We’ll find out tomorrow night if Jardine is ready to put a halt to his three-fight losing streak when he meets Matt Hamill in the co-main event at The Ultimate Fighter 11 Finale.