For a guy accepting a fight on a week's notice, Keith Jardine fought very gamely against Gegard Mousasi.
That said, Mousasi deserved to win the fight.
Jardine was able to score with some leg kicks and takedowns, but most of the real effective striking was being done by Mousasi, who was peppering Jardine with punches for most of the bout.
Still, Mousasi would have won the fight on the scorecards if it wasn't for a point deduction caused by an illegal upkick.
That point deduction itself is also a bit questionable.
Sure, upkicks to a grounded opponent are illegal, but this one was pretty marginal, and Jardine was looking tired more than anything else. A break and a warning would have been more than enough punishment for Mousasi.
But even though I think Mousasi deserved to win, the total lack of wrestling he showed in the fight is not a good sign for the future.
In the old Strikeforce, he'd only have Mo Lawal to worry about. Now that he could find himself in the UFC, a whole host of capable wrestlers and top position grapplers awaits.
Nevermind Jon Jones, even UFC strikers like Lyoto Machida possess better wrestling, top position BJJ and cardio than Jardine has, while pure wrestlers like Vladimir Matyushenko might still be able to hold down Mousasi for three rounds.
The fact that Mousasi is a capable fighter off his back is a good thing.
But he's not going to win fights off his back in the UFC at the top level.
He needs to learn how to wrestle.
A few years ago, people thought that he was so young that his wrestling would improve. Now, he's almost 26 years old and is a veteran of 35 professional fights.
He's still young, but with 35 fights under his belt, it's tough to say if he'll ever learn.
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