TUF 11 Finale: Keith Jardine Needed Losses to Improve as a Fighter

Tim NgoCorrespondent IJune 18, 2010

Once upon a time, after beating eventual champion Forrest Griffin at UFC 66, Keith Jardine was considered a possible contender for the UFC Light Heavyweight title.

Unfortunately, it just wasn’t in the cards for “The Dean of Mean” after his run-in with Houston Alexander, who knocked him off the pedestal upon which he was prematurely placed.

Jardine admits things may have come to him a little too easily and that he was ill-prepared for the possibility of being “the guy” in the UFC.

“Two years ago, I beat Forrest [Griffin], I beat [Chuck] Liddell—I beat those guys, but I knew that I wasn’t the fighter I wanted to be,” Jardine told the media. “I wasn’t ready to carry the UFC torch yet, so I went back to work, and I’ve been working hard ever since.”

After his surprising win over Liddell at UFC 76, many had Jardine favored going into his showdown with former Pride champion Wanderlei Silva.

Again, it seemed as though Jardine may have been in over his head. It took Silva all of 36 seconds to knock him out and send him back to the drawing board.

UFC color commentator Joe Rogan likens Jardine’s awkward style to that of a chimpanzee, but it was something that worked very well for him. That was, until Jardine decided to become a more conventional fighter.

“I had to go through these growing pains. I tried to be too polished, and I tried to be too planned in everything I was doing,” he explained.

What has always worked for the Greg Jackson-trained fighter was his ability to be unpredictable, and he believes that he’s gone back to the style that was so good to him in the past.

“I think I’m ready to let loose and exhibit a lot of the stuff I’ve been doing,” the former TUF alum stated.

We’ll find out on Saturday night if Jardine is ready to put a halt to his three-fight losing streak when he meets Matt Hamill in the co-main event at The Ultimate Fighter 11 Finale.

Don’t forget to follow 5thRound.com on Twitter @5thRound and visit 5thRound.com for more UFC news