Strikeforce Results: Keith Jardine Should Have Dropped to Middleweight Years Ago

Chris AlfaroContributor IIIJanuary 8, 2012

Last night was a sad night for fans of "The Dean of Mean."

After making his first cut to 185, Keith Jardine looked like he was doing pretty well. His movement was fast—if a tad sloppy—and he seemed able to connect with quite a few shots that surprised Strikeforce middleweight champion Luke Rockhold.

But it wasn't meant to be.

Jardine was knocked out cold at the end of the first round after what was very clearly a late stoppage.

Where did Jardine go wrong? Quite a few years ago actually.

While fighting in the UFC, Jardine was making a name for himself in the light heavyweight division. He had a rollercoaster career—picking up wins against big names like Forrest Griffin and Chuck Liddell, and losing to the likes of Stephan Bonnar, Wanderlei Silva and Quinton Jackson.

After a four-fight skid, Jardine was given the boot.

Now in Strikeforce and at 36 years of age, Jardine finally decided to make the cut to middleweight. While he was unsuccessful in his debut, he proved he could make the limit without difficulty.

Now it's a question of why he didn't do that years ago?

The light heavyweight division in the UFC is full of top fighters, and Jardine is a journeyman there at best. If he had dropped to middleweight sooner, he would have enjoyed a size and strength advantage over most competitors.

After finally stepping foot in the cage at 185, it seems like it was just too late.

While he might never have been a champion, Jardine could have been a powerful force in the UFC's middleweight division.