Although Keith Jardine has compiled a 14-4-1 professional record, posting wins over former UFC champions Chuck Liddell and Forrest Griffin along the way, he has alternated between wins and losses in his last five bouts. Jardine, however, claims that he is undefeated.
After being knocked out by Silva at UFC 84, Jardine posted a close split decision victory over Brandon Vera at UFC 89. He claims the Silva fight made him look in the mirror and become a different fighter.
“Since that Wanderlei (Silva) fight I feel like I started over and right now I’m 1-0 in the UFC – that’s the way I look at it,” stated the reborn Jardine.
Prior to his loss to Silva, Jardine won two of his previous three fights. Sandwiched in between his wins over former UFC champs Liddell and Griffin was a devastating knockout loss to Houston Alexander.
“After I lost to Wanderlei, I took the (Alexander loss) as a fluke, and then I just got caught down on the head with a big punch,” states Jardine. “And the same thing happened with Wanderlei. So I had to really take a look at myself and look at how I was approaching fighting and the way I was doing things. I was able to take that with me to fight Vera, which is one of my favorite wins. I think he’s a better striker than anybody I’ve fought, better than Forrest, better than Chuck.”
Jardine enters his UFC 96 bout against Quinton “Rampage” Jackson a heavy underdog. However, he sees this as a great opportunity to claim another win over a former UFC title holder.
“I get to beat somebody else that used to have a title, so that’s great for me,” Jardine said. “That’s why people love this sport, is because we’re not businessmen. We’re not like NFL players; they’re trying to stay healthy and get a paycheck. We fight with all of our heart and our soul.”
Starting from scratch isn’t a big deal for the Jackson Submission fighter, as he intends to be in the MMA game for the long haul. He also believes that he can compete in two UFC divisions if necessary.
“I’m going to have a long career,” he stated. “All of that stuff will work itself out. I have no problems up in heavyweight. I have no problem knocking out contenders either. So we’ll see. I’m in this game for a long time.”