Before I start giving my analysis of the Hammil-Jardine fight, I am going to let you all know how I feel about the fighters. Then I will give my analysis of the fight.
Both fighters have serious potential to be great in this sport, but for some reason, neither of them can get past their gatekeeper status.
Matt Hammil is a great wrestler with awesome ground and pound, and on top of that he does have some decent striking. Just ask Mark Munoz.
As for The Dean of Mean Keith Jardine, we have one of the scariest looking guys to have ever stepped into the UFC Octagon.
Aside from that, he has KO power in his hands, great kicks, an unorthodox style while fighting, decent takedown defense, and an underrated ground game.
Unfortunately, neither fighter has good cardio and we all clearly saw this in tonight's fight.
When it comes down to both fighters, I like both of them. But I had to pick one to win tonight, and tonight my guy was Jardine.
The reason for this is because I do like him a bit more than Hammil due to the way he fights and he was in more need of a win than Matt was.
Jardine was riding a three-fight losing streak going into this fight and the last two ended in devastating knockouts.
When guys fall into a position like that, the UFC usually releases them from their roster.
Hammil was just coming back from his destruction at the hands of Jon "Bones" Jones. It was a DQ win for Hammil due to the fact that Jones hit Hammil with an illegal elbow.
In my opinion, I feel the Jones-Hammil fight should have been stopped sooner and ended with a win for Jones and a loss for Hammil.
But anyway, I'll give you my analysis of tonight's fight now.
For round one, I gave it to Keith Jardine. He was faster, had great movement, and a lot of counter punches on Matt Hammil.
Keith showed his stand up had improved a lot by throwing a lot of quick, hard punches and kept covering up whenever he felt the left hook was coming and it worked too.
By the end of the round, Keith had avoided Hammil and kept his distance with countering and Matt's face was very red.
I even judged Matt's performance as if I were rooting for him. All I saw was a slow and sloppy "Hammer" that couldn't catch up to Keith or get around his combinations.
My score: 10-9 Jardine
Round Two : Round two was a tricky one to score. In a way, you can say it could have went either way.
Because the first half of the round was dominated by Keith's striking like it was in the first, but about midway through the round, Matt was caught with an accidental eye poke when he tried clinching with Keith and Keith shoved him off.
Matt went down and was given time to recover and so he did.
The eye poke didn't look too serious. At least in the replay in didn't look too bad. It definitely wasn't one so bad that a point needed to be deducted. If anything a warning could have been issued.
I think Herb Dean is a good referee in MMA, but this was one of his worst decisions in my eyes.
The fight recommenced and Hammil got a takedown on Keith. He started unloading some ground and pound and eventually split Keith open and the blood started to pour.
When they stood back up, the fight paused to check Keith's cut and he was okay to continue.
Soon after, the round ended.
You can score this round one of two ways. Either in the way Keith took the beginning of the round or by Hammil possibly stealing the round.
I thought Hammil stole the round with the takedown and ground and pound.
My Score: 10-9 Hammil (I scored it this way because I felt the point deduction was unnecessary).
Round Three : Round three starts and the two fighters touch gloves. After some circling and clinching, Hammil goes for the takedown and after a brief struggle, he gets it.
He is able to unload on Keith again and get the blood to pour, but nothing too damaging that the fight needs to be stopped.
Keith eventually finds an opening and makes his wake back to standing up.
This is one aspect I think the judges also need to consider in fights, standing up.
But I'll talk about that another day.
Shortly after this, the fight is paused two more times. One for the gash on Keith's head and the other for Keith's mouthpiece falling out.
Both fighters are gassed, bloodied, and tired.
One punch can easily end this fight, but somehow it goes to the very end. But before that, both fighters are tired and circling one another.
Hammil is pushing forward but isn't really doing much. He shoots for a takedown but it gets stuffed. He tries to punch Jardine, but he gets countered.
Once the 10 second mark is called out, both fighters start to engage one another, but Jardine is landing the better shots. The round ends.
My Score: 10-9 Jardine
Final Score: 29-28 Keith Jardine
I simply felt the fight went to Keith because the fight was kept standing most of the time and Keith looked like the better fighter there.
There were only two significant times the fight was on the ground but the fight made its way back to standing in just a few seconds.
I believe one of the deciding factors in this fight had to do with Keith countering Hammil with good combinations and leg kicks.
But this was not the case. The point deduction for the eye poke counted in the judges' eyes and they saw a different fight.
Hammil was awarded a Majority Decision with a score of 29-27, 29-27, and 28-28.
Hammil walked away with the win but wasn't happy with his performance, and I'm happy he feels that way. He did not look like the "Hammer" of old.
As for Keith, he walks away this time with a decision loss, but it's his fourth straight loss in the UFC.
Last time I checked, the UFC doesn't keep a lot of fighters with a losing streak like that.
In a few days though, we will find out what the UFC will do with The Dean of Mean.
Anyway, that's how I saw the fight. I thought Keith Jardine won it and both Herb Dean and the judges made a bad decision.
As Dana White always says, "Never leave it in the hands of the judges."
Let me know how you feel about the fight.