Friday, June 15, 2007

Dean o' Mean

While his most recent result, against Houston Alexander, was...uh...less than impressive, Keith Jardine had three fights in a row which were very impressive. He lost via decision to Stephen Bonnar, which I still cannot fathom how that came about, as Jardine whipped his ass for all but about 2 minutes of that fight, and had a win over Wilson Gouveia which impressed the heck out of me, and a picture-perfect devastation of Forest Griffin, ending it with what my friends and I called the "Hand of God"...reaching his hand up as far as he could and dropping it like massive thunderbolts on Griffin's helplessly-flopping melon. Of course, he came out and got his keister handed to him by a little-heralded 4-1 underdog who was a late replacement and a man who impressed the heck out of me.
So where does that leave Jardine? he's in the light heavyweight division, currently stocked with pretty much the best fighters in the world. Rampage, Shogun, Chuck, and Hendo to name the best four light heavies in the game today. Add to that guys like Wanderlei Sliva, Rashad Evans, Stephen Bonnar, Forest Griffin, and Tito Ortiz...and Rameau Thierry Sokoudjou, Vitor Belfort, Michael Bisping, Ricardo Arona, Jason Lambert, Babalu Sobral, and Jeremy Horn, Antonio Rogerio Nogueira (Little Nog)....whew. Jardine's place also depends on whether Brandon Vera decides to fight in light heavy permanently. When's that guy going to fight again anyways?
Jardine's shown heart in his fights, great takedown defense, and technical expertise with an unortodox style. His fight against Gouveia had a great example of strategic adjustment mid-round, after losing the first round Jardine switched up and took the dude apart with pinpoint strikes and his bread-and-butter viscious leg kicks. Of course, Gouveia's rumored crap cardio comes into play here too... As I mentioned before, I feel like he absolutely destroyed Bonnar, that's one of the worst judges' calls I've ever seen. True, Bonnar nearly knocked him out, but still, that doesn't count more than 13 minutes of total domination. Bonnar could barely walk!
Ah well. My personal top light heavies would go like this:
1) Mauricio "Shogun" Rua
2) Quinton "Rampage" Jackson
3) Dan "Hollywood" Henderson
4) Chuck Liddell
5) Wanderlei Silva
6) Rameau Thierry Sokoudjou
7) Antonio Rogerio Nogueira
8) Ricardo Arona
9) Kazuhiro Nakamura
10) Tito "If I couldn't talk shit, I'd be silent" Ortiz

There's a lot of caveats in there, and a few fights coming up that will change things. I put Shogun on top because he beat Jackson badly. Jackson did a good job on Chuck, but I thought it was an a-typical result. Of course, if you beat a guy twice, the typical result for your sample size is you beat that guy. I had a hard time not putting The Pride of Murrieta higher, with no head-to-head showdown with Shogun. Dan holds two belts. He beat the living hell out of Wanderlei. He beats people up. He has shown inconsistency in the past.

But that's my top ten and I'll live with it. If Tito loses to Rashad he's off, but I don't know who I put up there in his place...I mean, what, Rashad? Not proven in a lot of ways. It's a hard thing for me to figure, since I don't have the long experience of other commenters. I'll ask for anyone who happens by to give me their list, and I dig feedback. As for Jardine, the point of this whole thing, I'd say he's somewhere down around 13-14th right now, maybe a notch lower after getting whupped. But every fighter gets whupped. That's what fighting is all about: getting your ass kicked, and coming back strong. We all get beat up, every day. These guys just do it with fists, and knees, and bad-ass flying guard passes.

No comments:

eXTReMe Tracker