Jardine vs. Silva

The co-headline bout of UFC 102 on Saturday, Aug. 29 will be between light heavyweights Keith Jardine and Thiago Silva.

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Jardine is favored to win the fight with a betting line of -140 while Silva’s line is +110 according to online sports book SPORTSBETTING.com. Here is a closer look at both fighters heading into this fight, which will take place from the Rose Garden Arena in Portland, Ore. at 10PM ET on pay-per-view.

Keith Jardine (14-6-1 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 can use his striking to keep opponents tentative, which allows him to dictate the pace of the fight.

Weaknesses: Jardine has a suspect chin which has resulted in quick KO losses to Houston Alexander and Wanderlei Silva. Jardine also hasn’t had much experience fighting on the ground, where I suspect Silva will look to take the fight. Jardine may have the ground skills to win, but we haven’t seen them in the UFC.

Last Five Fights:

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

First round TKO loss to Houston Alexander at UFC 71 on May 26, 2007

              

Thiago Silva (13-1 MMA Record):

Strengths: Silva is a well rounded fighter that doesn’t have a specific strength. Silva is able to fight in any area and also has displayed the ability to take some strong punches and not get hurt. Most of Silva’s wins have been by TKO from strikes, but he has displayed submission skills in his career as well.

Weaknesses: Silva doesn’t have the same experience that Jardine has in terms of marquee fights. Silva’s last fight was his biggest to date and he came up short, losing by KO to Lyoto Machida. Now facing one of the toughest opponents he has ever met, it will be interesting to see how Silva responds and if he becomes more tentative after being knocked out for the first time inside the cage in his last fight.

Last Five Fights:

First round TKO loss to Lyoto Machida at UFC 94 on Jan. 31, 2009

First round submission win over Antonio Mendes at UFC 84 on May 24, 2008

First round TKO win over Houston Alexander at UFC 78 on Nov. 17, 2007

Second round TKO win over Tomasz Drwal at UFC 75 on Sept. 8, 2007

First round TKO win over James Irvin at UFC 71 on May 26, 2007

Who will win: This fight is up for grabs as either fighter seems to have numerous ways to win. I don’t think Silva has one-punch knockout power, but if he lands a big punch, it could set up another TKO victory. I think Jardine has learned from those KO losses that embarrassed him and I think he will keep the fight on its feet and use his kicks to distance Silva from getting inside. I think Jardine will slowly work on Silva’s legs and ultimately control the fight for three rounds for the decision win.

Additional Line: Over/Under 6.5 minutes for fight length. Under (-130), Over (even).

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Posted: 8/25/09 2:53PM ET

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