Following the pre-fight press conference for this weekend’s UFC 95 at the Nationwide Arena in Columbus, UFC President Dana White answered questions for members of the media.
In recent days, White has voiced his disapproval on main eventer Keith Jardine’s stance that friend, training partner, and light heavyweight champion Rashad Evans was off limits if he won on Saturday.
From the sound of it, though, White believed Jardine had a good chance of putting him in an awkward position.
“Jardine is a tough, durable guy,” he said. “He’s very unorthodox, and his style is pretty much the style that Forrest beat Rampage with. He’s very good a kicks to the legs and kicks to the body.
“Chuck Liddell is one of my friends. For twelve or thirteen years I’ve been to fights with him all over the world. I’ve never seen his body look like it looked after the Keith Jardine fight. I don’t think you guys saw it because he was back int he locker room. His whole body from under his arm pit to below the legs, he was covered in bruises. Jardine can kick and Rampage is susceptible to the leg kick and body kick.”
In an earlier conference call for the fight, Jackson bristled at those who thought the same fate would befall him.
“I’m really glad that people think that I have a low kick defense, because I used to be a kick boxer so that’s how I trained in boxing,” he said. “And I didn’t work on my kickboxing anymore. So now we’re just working on everything. I’m kind of happy if you think I have a low kick defense problem.”
White said Jardine’s style made him impossible to count out. Going back to their first meeting at the second season of “The Ultimate Fighter,” he expected big things out of the Albuquerque resident. And interestingly enough, it wasn’t Jardine’s kicks that drew attention.
“I knew coming into the fight that he was a tough guy,” said White. “I had heard a lot of buzz about him before he even came in. What I had heard a lot about was his wrestling, his ground game. Obviously he’s been working on his stand up. He’s really an unorthodox fighter – the way he punches and kicks, the way he moves – He’s a tough guy to fight. That’s why I think for bookies to make him a 3 to 1 dog, he’s a live dog. That’s a good bet.
On Saturday, fans will see how many bruises Jackson walks away with, and, if White has a future as a bookie.