Keith Jardine continues to be an enigma. He'll fight a great fight against a tough opponent, then turn around and get destroyed in his next match up in the first round. Don't believe me? Check it:
-Defeats Forrest Griffin via TKO in a mild upset at UFC 66
-Gets knocked out by Houston Alexander in the first round at UFC 71
-Outpoints Chuck Liddell at UFC 76 in what signaled the beginning of the end for the Iceman
-Gets knocked out by Wanderlei Silva in the first round at UFC 84
-Outpoints Brandon Vera at UFC 89 for the split decision win
-Losses To Rampage Jackson at UFC 96, but turned in a gritty performance
-Gets knocked out by Thiago Silva in the first round at UFC 102
If this trend continues, Bader could be in for a long night as Jardine is due for another good performance here. Follow me after the jump for the breakdown.
As mentioned Jardine is coming off the KO loss to Thiago Silva at UFC 102. He brings in a career record of (15-6) and has faced a murderer's row of light heavyweights in the UFC. If you don't get Jardine early, he usually makes you pack your lunch in a war of attrition type of fight. He possesses good leg kicks and striking from unorthodox angles. However, I don't know if we'll see many kicks from Jardine due to the threat of a take down, or a big counter right hand from Bader. Jardine reportedly is really solid on the ground, but we've yet to see much of his ground game because he spends the majority of his time striking. However, he is very difficult to keep down if taken down as evident in the Rampage Jackson fight.
Ryan Bader is coming off a hard fought unanimous decision win over Eric Schafer at UFC 104. It was a fight where he had Schafer hurt badly, but wasn't able to finish him and gassed in the process of trying to do so. Bader is undefeated with a career record of (10-0), with 4 KO's and 3 submissions to his credit. Bader has good power in his right hand, and was an 2X All-American wrestler at Arizona State University.
If Jardine can survive the first couple of minutes in this one, I think he has the tools to beat Bader. Jardine has proven that he can go three rounds in an absolute war with no problem, where Bader's cardio could be a factor in this one. Those legs kicks from Jardine could be a factor as well, as they could slow down Bader's shot if he decides to go for a take down. I don't think Bader will be able to hold Jardine down and control him the same way he did Schafer and Carmelo Marrero. I think the majority of this fight will take place on the feet, and Jardine simply has more firepower in that department. All he needs to do is avoid that big right from Bader, if he can do that he'll be able to win a decision or finish a gassed Bader late in the fight.