Today it was announced that long-serving light-heavyweight fighter Keith ‘The Dean Of Mean’ Jardine has been cut from the UFC.
“It sucks,” Dana White told MMAfighting.com. “I have nothing but respect for him and I hope to see him back soon,” he added, indicating that the 34 year-old may have an opportunity to return if he can get back to winning ways.
Jardine has been with the promotion since competing on The Ultimate Fighter season 2. He had his first official fight in the octagon in November of 2005, claiming a victory over Kerry Schall.
Since then Jardine has claimed victories over top opposition like Chuck Liddell, Forrest Griffin and Brandon Vera, but his recent form has dipped drastically with four consecutive losses which leaves his UFC record at 6-7, and his overall career record at 15-8-1.
His record, and the fact that he’s been knocked out four times in the past three years had led to speculation that he was on the verge of being cut, and after his latest decision loss to Matt Hamill at last weekend’s TUF 11 finale that has indeed proven to be the case.
Despite his losses Jardine is still a recognizable figure in the sport, as was proven by the fact that he was chosen to headline the TUF 11 finale, and therefore he should not have any difficulty in finding an alternative promotion to ply his trade with.
All eyes will surely turn to Strikeforce who are in dire need of more 205lb fighters. At the same time it should be noted that Scott Coker has previously stated that he is not interested in simply becoming a place where ex-UFC fighters go to play out the remainder of their career.
Even if they were interested it’s not certain that Jardine would himself want to go down that route as he may burn his bridges with the UFC in the process.
An alternative could be Japanese promotion DREAM who as it happens are currently putting together a light-heavyweight tournament.
Jardine was not the only fighter to be released at the conclusion of the TUF finale. David Loiseau also received his walking papers, bringing an end to his third spell in the UFC after just one fight.