JAMES E KING IIIContributor IAugust 24, 2009



The coming, UFC 102 bout between Keith "The Dean of Mean" Jardine, and Thiago Silva, is remeninscent, of the Roy Jones vs Antonio Tarver bout. The ‘Young Gun" out to MAKE a NAME for himself, vs the ‘Wily’ Old Veteran. And like Roy, if Jardine LOSES, it will be a hard road back, to the Main Event.

Ranked #7, 33 year old Jardine, has 6 wins, in his last 10 fights, but two of his last three, have been loses. He brings an impressive 14 - 5- 1, record, into this fight. 6 KOs, 2 Submissions, and 6 Decisions. The argument, that he’s fought ‘Better’ competition, but the one opponent they have in common, Houston Alexander, beat Jardine, while being totally dominated, by Silva. Keith, is the "Old Gunslinger", and knows only one way to fight; straight at you, in-your-face, ‘swinging for the fences’, mano e’ mano. He takes a lot of punishment, too get ‘in close’ and deliver blows, and counters, of his own. This has proven, his undoing, and his opponents, KNOW, what to expect; He trains hard, and fights HARDER, but on the DOWNSIDE, he will be right there, IN FRONT OF YOU: Hard to teach an old dog, ‘new’ tricks. If Jardine WINS, he will undoubtedly, get a shot at the title. That’s the GOOD NEWS. Now, more realistically, if he loses, his future in UFC, will also probably be lost also. At age 33, his ‘chances’ of catching the Brass Ring, are simply diminishing; it’s now or NEVER. He will be recognized for his skills, and brilliant career, but reduced to the status, of a "test" fighter, with fewer and fewer BIG paydays.

26 year old, Thiago Silva, come into this fight, after suffering the only loss, in his 14 bout career. That loss was to Lyoto Machida, in UFC 94. Silva’s aggresive style, could be his undoing, but, could serve him well, if his ‘quickness’, and speed give him an early advantage. His jiu-jitsui skills, would certainly serve him much better, than a punch-for-punch contest, with Jardine. His fight with Machida, should have taught him the error, of his ways. With his expertise, he has to fight ‘smart’, and don’t get drawn into the ‘Hype’, of a MACHO confrontation. Working out with American Top Team, should have given him the lessons, in discipline, he will need to win the fight. A loss for Silva, would be ‘disappointing’, but not devasting to his career, At 26, he can climb, back up to the top; if he HAS TO.

I look for Thiago, to win this fight. Any fight with Jardine, is going to be a BATTLE ROYAL!! I think the loss to Machida, was Silva’s wake up call, and he realizes it takes more than BRUTE FORCE and a macho showing to get to a championship. Keep Jardine at bay, frustrate him, and take him out to deep water, and submit him. Don’t underestimate the "old Dawg", or get sucked into a ‘striking contest’. Use your skills, and smarts, the future is bright, and Silva’s, for the taking. Should be an exciting bout, as well as entertaining; looking forward to seeing it.