The Re-Invention of Keith Jardine and His Road Back to the UFC

March 17, 2011

Keith Jardine UFC 96

Keith Jardine

Ever since he got his walking papers from the UFC, former “Ultimate Fighter” competitor Keith Jardine has been working overtime to earn his way back to the Octagon.

The New Mexico based fighter stumbled out of the blocks losing to Trevor Prangley in his first post-UFC fight, but has since picked up two wins in a row.

The most recent, a first-round stoppage over Aron Lofton, showed a new side to Keith Jardine. It also inspired him to make some changes that will start immediately while he waits for Joe Silva to call him with an invite back to the UFC.

“I’ve been touching on it a little bit with my last camp and now I’ve got my first real break in the last year, and I’m really going to take the opportunity to travel a lot more,” Jardine told “Do what I’ve been talking about, I’ve been telling Rashad (Evans) and other people that I’ve wanted to do this forever and I’m finally going to do it.”

Traveling for Jardine means training outside the tutelage of coaches Greg Jackson and Mike Winkeljohn. While Jardine is by no means splitting with the team he’s been with since the beginning of his career, he feels that he needs to make some changes if he is truly going to show the UFC he belongs among the best fighters at 205 pounds.

He said it all started before his fight against Kiko France in the disastrous Dominican Republic show before the end of 2010. Jardine was forced to train at a different camp due to a prior commitment, and he liked the results.

“Two fights ago when I fought Kiko France because the fight got pushed back, I was doing a movie up in Canada for a month before, so I had to do my training over at Zuma with Adam Zugec in Victoria and I got great training up there. It really occurred to me that I haven’t been getting out of my comfort zone enough,” Jardine said.

The result of that will be Jardine working with different camps starting immediately. The work will include stops in Montreal to work with strength and conditioning guru Jonathan Chaimburg, as well as at the Renzo Gracie Academy in New York City.

“I’m going to spend a lot more time up in Canada training with Jon Chaimburg and the team up there, and definitely some time up in New York with Renzo,” Jardine commented. “Just branching out a little bit more. They’re all affiliates of our team here, but one thing I’ve just been too comfortable here at home and it kind of hurt me in effect to stay in my comfort zone.”

The strategy to combine the training with a new mentality is what Jardine believes will lead him back to the UFC, the only fight organization he wants to call home.

He’s been showing it off in his past two fights, and he’ll continue to show it until the UFC pays attention and calls him back to the Octagon.

“I’ve been rebuilding my fighting style the last three fights. I started off a little slow against Prangley, but now it’s really taking off with this first-round stoppage in my last fight and I’m going to keep moving forward with that, and just kind of re-inventing myself into a new fighter. I’m real excited,” said Jardine.

“I’m waiting everyday to get a call from the UFC. I’m really excited to show off.”

Jardine will be leaving soon for his travels and new training which will include stops in Canada and New York, where he will reunite with Rashad Evans who is also expected to spend some time at the Renzo Gracie Academy.

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Damon Martin is the lead staff writer and radio host for
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