by Damon Martin – MMAWeekly.com
With all of the controversy and speculation surrounding the potential main event fight between former champ, Chuck Liddell and former Pride champion, Wanderlei Silva, the UFC finally put the fight to sleep after Silva requested to fight in November instead of the scheduled September 22nd date the organization had set for the main event of UFC 76. Now with Liddell expecting to fight in September the UFC found a new opponent and his name is Keith Jardine
Jardine confirmed the fight to MMAWeekly today saying he expects the deal to be done and the fight to be signed “any day.”
Jardine was considered one of the top contenders for the title in the light heavyweight division prior to his loss to Houston Alexander at UFC 71, the same card that saw Liddell lose his UFC light heavyweight title to new champ, Quinton “Rampage” Jackson. Jardine is still a top flight opponent for Liddell and with both fighters coming off losses, this is a must win for each.
This fight is slated to be the main event for a card that will also feature the debut of former Pride Grand Prix winner, Mauricio “Shogun” Rua. Jardine has to see this fight as the biggest opportunity of his career and a win over Liddell would surely erase the fight with Alexander out of many people’s minds.
For Chuck Liddell, this fight may not be as anticipated as the long awaited match with Wanderlei Silva would have been but he will need to be just as prepared for Jardine who loves to throw heavy leg kicks and is a solid stand-up fighter in his own right.
UFC 76 will take place on September 22nd, from Anaheim, California.