Jardine vs. Bader

One of the featured bouts of UFC 110 is a matchup between a rising and a falling light heavyweight as Ryan Bader faces off with Keith Jardine.

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Once a top contender in the light heavyweight (205 lbs.) division, Jardine now finds himself needing a win over Bader to keep his UFC career alive while Bader, the season eight winner of The Ultimate Fighter, is looking for his fourth straight win in the octagon. Bader enters the fight as a slight favorite with a money line of -135, while Jardine is at +105 according to online sports book SBGGLOBAL. Here is a closer look at both fighters heading into this bout, which will take place from the Acer Arena in Sydney, Australia on Saturday at 10PM ET on Pay-Per View.
Ryan Bader (10-0):

Strengths: Bader is a very strong fighter that was a two-time All-American at Arizona State. His wrestling background has led to decision wins in his last two fights, as he used his size to control Carmelo Marrero and Eric Schafer. His speed is also a factor, as Bader is light on his feet and explosive with his takedown attempts.

Weaknesses: Bader has improved his striking since winning the ultimate fighter program in December of 2008, but he still has a long ways to go. In this fight, he will be facing a superior striker, so getting the fight to the ground will be key. He has not had to face the adversity that he is likely to face in this fight, as this is the toughest opponent of his career.

Last Five Fights:

Unanimous decision win over Eric Schafer at UFC 104 on Oct. 24, 2009

Unanimous decision win over Carmelo Marrero at UFC Fight Night 18 on April 1, 2009

First round TKO win over Vinny Magalhaes at Ultimate Fighter 8 Finale on Dec. 13, 2008

First round submission win over Buckley Acosta at XCC 6 on April 5, 2008

Unanimous decision win over Brad Peterson at IFO on Dec. 28, 2007
 
Keith Jardine (14-7-1 MMA Record):

Strengths: Jardine is an unorthodox striker that can pose problems for almost any fighter. Jardine mixes a lot of looping punches with powerful leg and body kicks. Jardine’s kicks are what won him a decision over Chuck Liddell in the past, and his overhand punches allowed him to get a TKO victory over Forrest Griffin. Jardine has been in plenty of big-fight situations, so there is no doubt he will not be intimidated by Bader. Also, having lost three of his last four fights, he is desperate for a win to keep his UFC career alive.

Weaknesses: Jardine has a suspect chin which has resulted in quick KO losses to Thiago Silva, Houston Alexander, and Wanderlei Silva. He was able to take plenty of punches against Liddell, but has been KO’d quickly in recent losses. Jardine hasn’t been tested much on his back as he has fought a lot of strikers, so dealing with Bader’s wrestling could be a problem for him.

Last Five Fights:

First round KO loss to Thiago Silva at UFC 102 on Aug. 29, 2009

Unanimous decision loss to Quinton Jackson at UFC 96 on March 7, 2009

Split decision win over Brandon Vera at UFC 89 on Oct. 18, 2008

First round KO loss to Wanderlei Silva at UFC 84 on May 24, 2008

Split decision win over Chuck Liddell at UFC 76 on Sept. 22, 2007
 
Who will win: Bader may be favored, but we like Jardine in this fight as he is much more battle tested and won’t be easily taken down. Jardine will likely keep Bader at bay with his powerful leg kicks and slowly take away Bader’s explosiveness with those kicks. Look for Jardine to simply pick apart Bader during the fight, earning himself a decision win, which he badly needs.

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Posted: 2/19/10 8:04PM ET

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