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| | Jardine vs Alexander II was Plan A for 1st Shark PPV
- SHARK FIGHTS: JARDINE VS. ALEXANDER 2 WAS PLAN A- MMA WEEKLY - Mixed Martial Arts & UFC News, Photos, Rankings & more
The date was May 26, 2007. |
Coming off a huge TKO win over former "Ultimate Fighter" winner Forrest Griffin just five months ago, Keith Jardine seemed primed to make a serious run in the light heavyweight division. For his next fight, he was matched up with relatively unknown Midwestern fighter Houston Alexander.
Just about everybody thought that this was just a tomato can for Jardine to crush before getting a major fight in the top ten. Everybody was wrong.
After clipping Alexander early in the fight, Jardine got blasted by the heavy hitter from Nebraska, and soon found himself laying face down on the canvas with the referee rushing in to make the save. The loss was a major setback for Jardine, and with people picking their jaws up from the floor after witnessing the knockout, everyone knew exactly who Houston Alexander was.
With both fighters now out of the UFC, Jardine and Alexander were each recently approached by Shark Fights to fight for their organization in a very ambitious pay-per-view offering, the first of its kind for the company. The end result saw Jardine placed in the main event against Trevor Prangley, while Alexander got the chance to face Rameau Thierry Sokoudjou in the co-main event. The matchmaking was set, but according to Jardine and Alexander, that wasn't the fight the folks at Shark Fights were shooting for.
"The original fight was supposed to be Houston Alexander actually, and that sounded alright to me, so I've been training ever since," Jardine told MMAWeekly Radio about the match-up he was initially offered with Shark Fights.
Jardine never got the chance to avenge his loss to Alexander while in the UFC, and with both now fighting for the same organization the rematch made sense. According to the Greg Jackson trained fighter, he never heard an exact reason why the fight never came together, but he moved on and accepted Prangley as an opponent instead.
"They didn't give me a reason for the change, but yeah I was looking forward to it," Jardine said about the rematch with Alexander. "Let me tell you first, Houston's a great warrior, he's a great guy. I've said this before, he's a great humanitarian, he's done a lot of service around his community. I've met the guy a few times he's a great guy, but that's a really dark spot on my career.
"To have an opportunity to take care of that, that would have been great, especially at this point in my career. It didn't work out, and now I have a much tougher guy in Trevor Prangley."
While Jardine seemed unsure why the fight didn't come together, Alexander had a different perspective on the rematch. Admitting that Shark Fights came to him with the same fight in mind, Alexander, who has started working at the Grudge Training Center, a sister facility that works with Greg Jackson's gym in New Mexico, he said it came down to friendship over money.
"They did call me to actually rematch us, and I thought about it and I was just like 'you know what, I got to know Keith, and he's more like a friend now,'" Alexander explained in an interview with MMAWeekly Radio. "I thought in my mind, no I wouldn't want to fight him. They would really have to put some heavy money on the table for that to happen. Right now, I consider him a friend. I didn't even really think twice about wanting to fight him."
The fight never got made and as mentioned both Jardine and Alexander moved on to other match-ups. Still, with the storyline surrounding the first fight and with both fighters looking to get back to the promised land of the UFC, it seems a rematch could still be in order in the future.
Jardine says friendship or not, it's a fight that interests him, but right now his focus is on Prangley and getting back to the UFC.
"Sounds like a good story to me, but who knows what's going to happen," Jardine said about the Alexander fight. "I might be in the UFC next, who knows. I'm just taking this one fight at a time where I'm at right now."
Both Jardine and Alexander will fight on this weekend's Shark Fights card in Texas.
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