Matt Hamill and Keith Jardine will square off this Saturday in Las Vegas, during the finale of The Ultimate Fighter: Team Liddell vs. Team Ortiz.
Hamill has lost twice in his career. His 9-2-0 record is accurate, though not officially.
Despite the ruling, Hamill was clearly bested by Jon Jones. But because of the 12-6 elbow Jones threw immediately before the ref stopped the fight, Jones was disqualified.
Rich Franklin legitimately stopped Hamill but, more significantly, Hamill probably should have won against Michael Bisping. After watching that fight, many viewers felt Hamill was robbed of at least a split decision. But in all fairness, the bout went back and forth for a bit.
Bisping did not handle Hamill like Jones did, and many believe he didn't truly win that fight.
However, the win over Jones and the loss to Bisping at least help give Hamill's record an accurate gauge for his perceived success.
The bottom line is that, even when he has lost, Hamill has always performed well, except against Jones, who is a freak of nature and quite possibly unbeatable in the Octagon.
In contrast, Jardine has not performed well since 2006. Four of his last five losses have come by KO, and his last two wins were by split decision. Jardine's last legitimate win came against Forrest Griffin, whom he beat by TKO in round one.
Jardine, to his credit, has plenty of experience against really tough opponents. He has taken on Thiago Silva, Quinton "Rampage" Jackson, Brandon Vera, Wanderlei Silva, and Chuck Liddell—all tough opponents.
Jardine recently faced Ryan Bader, and lost. But more significant than his defeat is the question of why he's still in the UFC after such poor performances.
Dana White continues to sign him, even though he has lost to big competition. But perhaps Jardine is still in because he has only lost to quality opponents.
He always brings an aggressive fight and has been beaten by a few significant fighters, albeit insignificantly.
No matter what happens, Jardine is a tough fighter, and he's very exciting to watch. Few can even mimic his unorthodox style.
However, it's clear that he is not up to the level of current light heavyweight competition.
Although Jardine is tough, it seems the current competition has adapted to his ogre-like fighting approach. As a result, Hamill may indeed make quick work of Jardine, or he will at least test Jardine's wrestling skills.
If Hamill does win, would it be justified for Jardine to pack his things and move on from the UFC?
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