— American mixed martial artist, Keith "The Dean of Mean" Jardine, will fight UFC newcomer, Houston Alexander at UFC 71 this Saturday, May 26. Coming off of a big TKO win over Forrest Griffin at UFC 66, Keith is ready to go to war with Alexander and he assures us that his fans will not be disappointed. He's even ready to go to the emergency room if that's what it comes down to.
Read BuddyTV's exclusive one-on-one interview with Keith and listen to the mp3 audio below to get the full scoop.
BuddyTV: Can you start off by telling us how you got started in MMA?
Keith: You know, I think a long time ago on TV like in the early 90's, I think it was a Pancrase I saw it first and I always kinda had it at the back of my mind cause I was wrestler in high school, I was a pretty good wrestler in high school and I was playing college football at the time. And so once I finished playing college football, I was coaching for a few years at college and I just needed to compete so I thought I'd follow that up.
Where'd you get the name "The Dean of Mean"?
My kick boxing coach actually helped me come up with it when we were doing some K-1 thing or something like that and you know the way I fight, I'm a very mean person in the ring, I'm a very mean fighter so the Dean of Mean just kind of came together.
You're coming off a big TKO win over Forrest Griffin. How do you feel coming into this fight against Houston Alexander?
You know I feel really good. I've been training real hard, I've been training like I'm fighting for the title because it's my goal to do that eventually and I'm definitely…I ain't taking him lightly and man I'm just finishing up my camp, its been brutal, it almost feels as if its tougher than my camp before this.
Is there anything specific you've been working on in preparation for this fight against Alexander?
You know, not really. Actually I've been just kinda working on my teammates, I'm trying to…I'm working on getting better against Rashad and getting better against Nate Marquardt because honestly there's not better opponents in the world for me so that's kinda like what I've been concentrating on, this one is just a getting better for those guys.
In terms of your strategy, how do you plan on engaging Alexander?
I can't tell you that. [pause] ...There's definitely gonna be a feeling out process I'm sure you know cause the video I have is limited but he's very aggressive he hits very hard, he's a very dangerous fighter and I don't think anybody has ever put him away so it's nothing to take lightly for sure.
What do you think are his weaknesses, if any?
You know, I really don't know yet. I'm gonna go…during the fight I'm gonna go search for him and hopefully find them.
You know there were rumors that in UFC 71, you'd be fighting against Chuck Liddell. Did you want to fight him?
Oh absolutely. Not to be cocky, but it's just that that's what I'm in the sport for and I'd love to test my talents against his and he's a legend and I hope to be able to fight him one day just cause of who he is.
How do you think…let's say you were to fight him in 71; how do you think you would've matched up?
You know I think first of all it would be a great fight to get together cause our fighting styles you put together it's just gonna be a very exciting fight no matter what happens. I think my boxing is good enough to get in there and mix it up with him a little bit and I'm a pretty diverse fighter and I've got a lot of conditioning so I think that would definitely be an exciting fight.
What about fighting his opponent, Quinton Jackson?
I'm not sure about Quinton. I think he held a lot of back in his last fight so I don't think we saw the real Quinton there and its going to be real interesting to see which Quinton shows up for his fight against Chuck.
I read somewhere that you were actually a bounty hunter in New Mexico?
I did that for a month or two, one of my good friends here in management works for Quick Bail Bonds, a bail bonding company he owns and I helped him out for a month or two. It was kinda fun, you know but it didn't match well with training obviously so I had to quit doing that.
If you were to step foot on the Octagon with Dog the Bounty Hunter, who do you think would win?
Aw, come on man. That would be like if I would try to play one on one against Michael Jordan. I don't think I'd be up for that. I pick up a basketball once in a while but I don't think I'm gonna win that one on one match up.
What can fans expect to see from you come May 26 when you step into the Octagon with Alexander?
You know just…with me you know I'm gonna get a bonafide. I'm gonna push the pace. It might turn out to be a three round war. Where both guys got to go to the emergency room and I'm all down for that. I hope he's game to bring that to the table cause that's what I look for in a fight, that's what I want, that's why I do so just…just…my fans are just gonna see more of what I really am.
(Interview conducted by Royce Yuen)
(Photo courtesy of UFC.com)
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Original article at http://www.buddytv.com/articles/ufc/exclusive_ufc_71_interview_kei_1-6904.aspx