by Damon Martin – MMAWeekly.com
As the eleventh season of “The Ultimate Fighter” moves forward, Spike TV officials on Monday announced two former contenders on the show, Keith Jardine and Matt Hamill, will square off in a light heavyweight showdown in the finale’s headline bout.
The bout has been rumored for several weeks, but the announcement on Monday cements the two fighters in the main event, with both looking to stay relevant in a tough 205-pound weight class.
Always seen as one of the grittiest fighters in the division, Keith Jardine (15-7-1) has fallen on tough times lately losing his last three bouts in a row. Facing some of the toughest competition in the division, he has dropped fights to Quinton “Rampage” Jackson, Thiago Silva, and most recently to “Ultimate Fighter” winner Ryan Bader.
Training out of Greg Jackson’s famed gym in New Mexico, Jardine will be battling not only Matt Hamill, but also for a place to call home because losing four in a row is not a position any fighter ever wants to be in.
Hamill (8-2) got a win in his last fight against Jon Jones by disqualification, but it didn’t leave the Cincinnati native any better off when the fight was over. Suffering a laceration on his head, not to mention a separated shoulder, Hamill wasn’t able to continue in the fight with Jones, and was declared the victor due to his opponent throwing illegal elbow strikes while in the mount.
The former “Ultimate Fighter” competitor has won three fights in a row including the DQ victory, but also holds a devastating knockout over Mark Munoz, and a TKO over Reese Andy in that timespan.
As the season moves on more fights will be declared for “The Ultimate Fighter” finale including the middleweight finals set to take place on the June 19 card.