Last night TUF season 8 winner Ryan Bader marked his arrival in the upper-half of the light-Heavyweight division with a knockout win over veteran fighter Keith Jardine.
Bader had looked to be in control in the first round, mixing up his striking and wrestling while appearing unfazed by Jardine’s awkward style. To his credit Jardine came back into the fight in the second, stuffing his opponents takedown attempts and finding more success on his feet.
As had been evident in his previous fight, Bader started to look a little winded in the final round, but he continued to load up his punches.
Midway through the round that tactic finally paid off as he staggered Jardine with a straight right, and then rushed forward with a flying knee, and finally a powerful left hook that folded ‘The Dean Of Mean’ onto the octagon floor.
The victory takes Bader to 11-0 (4-0 in the UFC) and confirms that he can be a threat in the hotly contested light-heavyweight division. On the evidence of this performance there’s still significant room for improvement in Bader’s game though, and at 26 years of age he has time on his hands to do so.
As for Jardine, the stats make for grim reading. He now has only two wins in seven visits to the octagon, and four of those losses have been by KO. Without a win in three fights it appears that his best days are now behind him, and there must surely now be a risk of him being cut from the roster.