Outside of his friends and family, few are picking MMA veteran Keith Jardine to pull off the upset over hotshot young Strikeforce middleweight champion Luke Rockhold in their title fight this weekend.
Most of the media are viewing a Rockhold victory as an afterthought, and the champion himself has gone as far as calling Jardine undeserving of a title shot. That’s all well and good for Jardine though, a veteran of close to thirty fights, who believes his style offers Rockhold a taste of something he’s yet to encounter in his young career.
“Of course he doesn’t want this fight,” Jardine recently told MMAJunkie. “I’m a pretty scary fight for him because I don’t think – how I’d characterize it – Luke has never really been in a dirty fight. He’s a real clean fighter. He likes to keep his distance and pick away at his opponents. But look at all my fights. You’re going to get tired, bloody and dirty. I’m going to turn it into a brawl, and it’s not a good matchup for him.”
The 36-year-old Jardine will be making his middleweight debut against Rockhold, with an eye on rejuvenating his career by winning a title in a new weight class.
“It’s like a brand new career for me and a brand new start,” he said. “This is a rebirth for me. I’m going to win the title on Saturday, and it’s real exciting to represent Strikeforce and the direction they’re going.”
Strikeforce: Rockhold vs. Jardine goes down this Saturday night at the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas.