Keith Jardine made a lot of noise when he beat up Forrest Griffin at UFC 66.
With the win, The Ultimate Fighter (TUF) season 2 alum believes he put himself in serious title contention, according to the Houston Chronicle.
Here's a snip:
"They were really building up Forrest as one of the top contenders for the title shot, but I think the way I beat him, I took that position. Right now, people have to consider me whenever they talk about who's a contender for the title."
Big words from one of the quieter cats in the UFC 205-pound stable.
And, his reticence is perhaps the reason he still needs a few more fights before being plopped in the Octagon with UFC Light Heavyweight Champion Chuck Liddell.
Even though Jardine is a solid fighter and had great exposure on TUF, he is not an overwhelming fan favorite. Nor is he an overwhelming villain, despite his "Dean of Mean" moniker.
He's just, well, Keith Jardine.
Here's another snip:
"Whoever I fight next, I'm going to beat, so they've gotta figure out who they want to risk. They know I'm a contender, but I think they want to build me up a bit more."
Jardine was thought to be inline to tangle with Tito Ortiz. However, his Team Jackson training partner Rashad Evans appears to have earned that fight.
With not too many marquee names left on the board for one reason or another, Jardine will most likely find himself up next against a "stepping stone" type of fighter.
It's not something he's looking forward to ... and neither am I.
Here a final snip:
"They (UFC) really don't know who I'm fighting yet. I want to fight a top contender. I want to fight Tito, and I'd love to have the honor of fighting Chuck, but I might get someone who's a steppingstone. I don't like steppingstones. Man, they're hard to train for. They're trying to take what you have."
Certainly not the best scenario for a quiet guy trying to ride the noisy wave of momentum to a future title fight. Then again, there aren't too many guys like Griffin available to fight right now.