New life at middleweight: Keith Jardine is sure he deserves a title shot

Steve Cofield
January 6, 2012

When Keith Jardine was announced as the next opponent for Strikeforce middleweight champ Luke Rockhold, it was greeted with a groan by many.

Jardine is only 3-6-1 since 2008 and has never fought at middleweight. How does that warrant a title shot?

"You know what? To me, it's all about my body of work," Jardine told The MMA Fighter Corner on FoxSportsRadio920 in Las Vegas. "I fought so many world champs. I've beat some world champions. I'm going to be a terror at middleweight. Screw all those guys [on the Internet]. We'll see in a couple of days who belongs in the ring."

Knowing there be negative reaction to him getting a title shot, Jardine stayed away from the critics. What he concentrated on was a new diet. Working nutritional guru Mike Dolce, Jardine said he's eliminated all supplements and he's feeling fresher than ever at the age of 36.  That's a big deal for a guy who is attempting to fight at 185 pounds for the first time in his career.

Jardine is confident he'll make the weight today without an issue. It's all part of new outlook since he was cut from the UFC back in June of 2010.

"It was really a blessing though because it gave me the time to go back..and reinvent myself, and become the fighter I am today which is twice the fighter I was a year ago," Jardine said. "Back then, I lost a few fights. What can you say, but I wasn't resentful at all."

Jardine is a plus-400 underdog which is surprising looking at his resume versus Rockhold's. He was also quick to point that he fought to a draw against Gegard Mousasi his last time out on just eight days notice. The fighters meet tomorrow night in Las Vegas at the Hard Rock's Joint.

Listen to The MMA Fighter Corner on FoxSportsRadio 920 (Wednesdays at 8 p.m. PT & Saturdays at 4 p.m. PT)