If Keith Jardine had beaten Luke Rockhold it might have brought him back to the UFC fold. At the very least it would have made him a Strikeforce champion and gotten him another high-profile fight.
Instead he gotten beaten by knockout.
In the first round.
And on a good stoppage.
Now Jardine has a lot of thinking to do. His last fight was a draw with Gegard Mousasi which most watching thought he lost. Now he was beaten and taken out by another fighter.
Jardine has to face the fact that he is on the decline.
It's nothing embarrassing. At 36 years old, Jardine has fought plenty of top fighters and even beaten some of them. Facing that kind of opposition has not only made him money, but famous as well. It is one reason why he got this title shot even after getting a draw in his last fight.
It is also the reason he couldn't keep up.
Jardine just couldn't handle the pressure and pace Rockhold set tonight and it led to him slowly being dragged into deeper waters.
If it had been in the third or fourth round, Jardine could convince himself that it was a close fight and that he had almost gone the distance—that he was close to being on top again.
Instead, it was a quick affair and he was left with his brains scrambled and his game plan picked apart.
No one should insult Jardine for trying his hardest. MMA is a tough sport, and endeavoring to succeed at anything, especially that will be critiqued by the public, is difficult enough.
But this isn't a criticism. It is merely a reflection of a fun fighter who is now fighting past his prime.
And a plea to those who care to let him know that it's OK for his career to end on this note.
He gave his all to tip windmills and he did a bit better than most.
Now he should walk away so he can enjoy it in good health.