So, Lorenzo Fertitta says Dan Hardy won't be cut because he likes guys who WAR?! Well that's fine, he doesn't really WAR but if that's why you want to keep him then that's okay with me. I don't like it but I don't run the UFC.
Now that the importance of winning has been reduced and you can lose as much as you want and decisively as you want as long as you wildly slug it out, it's only fair that the UFC brings back this guy:
You think I'm just screwing around? No I'm dead serious. If you're going to make up an excuse for keeping a guy who isn't winning, then you need to allow everyone in a similar situation in the UFC. Say what you want about his skills, Keith Jardine can WAR. In case you don't remember, the Dean of Mean also lost 4 fights in a row, the last one a FOTN battle against Matt Hamill, in which he lost via slightly controversial majority decision. Alas, they cut him anyway despite arguably his best and most "technical" performance of his career.
Post-UFC cut, Jardine lost a close split decision to the very respectable Trevor Prangley in the main event of Shark Fights 13. He's now on a 3 fight unbeaten run with a decision win over Francisco France on a card where he may or may not have been paid, a TKO win over Aron Lofton, and then most recently stepped in on short notice like the tough semi-Viking son of a bitch that he is, and fought Gegard Mousasi to a draw. Okay Mousasi pretty much won that fight but the fact that he survived 3 rounds and gave it his all against one of the best light heavyweights in the world is damn courageous in my book. It epitomizes Jardine all over.
He's managed a couple of wins (albeit against unheralded opposition) and on-paper a draw against Mousasi. Get him back in the UFC. Yeah he's 35 but he's probably looked 35 since he was 12 years old. The fact of the matter is he's got a far more credible resume than Dan Hardy. Look at who he's beaten:
- Forrest Griffin, a universally recognized top 10 LHW and former UFC LHW champion. And he did it via vicious TKO in which he made Forrest cry on his stool.
- Chuck Liddell, who at the time was still one of the best LHWs in the world and just coming off the Rampage loss. He went the distance with Chuck, dropped him in the 3rd round and earned the split decision victory. Believe it or not, this is the only decision loss of Chuck's career.
- Brandon Vera, in the only boring fight of Jardine's UFC career, but in fairness Vera hasn't been exciting in 5 years. Vera's not a bum and this was a good victory for Keith.
Even in his most recent losses, three of the four men he lost to before he got the ax were either former UFC champions (Jackson) or ended up in a #1 contender's fight (T. Silva and Ryan Bader). Much like Hardy, in this 4 fight losing streak he's been stopped twice and went to decision twice. Unlike Hardy, whose two decision losses features such scores as 30-27 x3 and 50-43, 50-44. and 50-45, Jardine pulled even with Rampage on two scorecards heading into the final round, and the aforementioned majority decision against him in the Hamill fight.
Jardine has only really lost to the best of the best (and Stephan Bonnar). At the time of the bouts, Hardy has now lost to #15 - Condit, NR - Lytle, and #25 - Johnson.
If you want to talk about Keith's very bad chin and general disregard for defense, then you're within your right to. He'd still get destroyed by the top of the food chain fighters, but I absolutely think he can pose problems for middle-of-the-road guys like Krzyzstof Soszynski, Luiz Arthur Cane, Jason Brilz, and even Igor Pokrajac. You can argue about Jardine's chin problems if I can argue that Dan Hardy is in a wrestler-heavy division and would get manhandled by Mike Pierce and choked out by Claude Patrick.
It's only fair an logical that if the requirement to stay in the top MMA organization in the world is to be entertaining, then Keith needs to be re-signed. Jardine always brings it, has quality wins, and can easily slot in as a gatekeeper for the remainder of his career. Also, I want to hear Joe Rogan go on and on about his "very underrated ground game".