“The Dean of Mean” Keith Jardine deserves all the credit in the world for stepping up to face the very talented Gegard Mousasi last weekend on only nine days’ notice after Mousasi’s original opponent, Mike Kyle, was forced out of the bout with injury.
Jardine did better than most everyone expected him to, hanging tough with Mousasi until the last bell, though many expected Mousasi to get the judges’ nod in the end. The bout was eventually ruled a draw to the surprise of many, but a very battered Jardine told MMAFighting.com’s Ariel Helwani after the fight that his immediate impression of the bout was that he actually won.
“Yeah, a little bit,” Jardine said when asked if he was surprised by the bout’s outcome. “I thought the first two rounds, I felt real comfortable about that. The third round, man, I hit the wall and I didn’t have much left. But I felt real good about the first two rounds. But whatever man, maybe I’ll see it and see something different.”
Jardine, who admitted that he had never before been so exhausted in a fight, told Helwani that he is disappointed with the bout’s outcome, but that he is excited to be working under his old bosses at Zuffa and is looking forward to “reinventing” himself with a drop in weight.
“It’s hard to with a draw,” he said in regards to taking away anything positive from the fight. “I wanted the win. The positive is I’m back with Zuffa and I’m gonna continue the reinvention of Keith Jardine. I’m still looking at going down to 185 and getting that title within a couple fights, unless the bosses say something different, that’s still my gameplan.”
As is often the case with draws though, an immediate rematch is scheduled. Should the bosses present Jardine with that course of action before his drop to middleweight?
He says: “You know me, I can’t say no.”