By John Fullilove, jacksons.tvjacksons.tv: Please describe your experience in athletics prior to becoming involved in MMA?
Keith Jardine: I started off wrestling in high school in L.A. City – I won L.A. City a couple of years. Football was my passion back then. I went to Junior College and ended up in New Mexico playing at New Mexico Highlands University playing ootball. I was all-conference in some form every year I played football. After I was done playing football, I coached college football. I was the defense coordinator. My last year of coaching we actually won our conference at New Mexico Highlands. That last year is when I met Greg and started to pursue my MMA career. I also played a little rugby somewhere in there too.
jacksons.tv: Have any of your previous athletic experiences been applicable to MMA?
Keith Jardine: Well, of course the wresting but besides that it has been completely different. Competition is the same whenever you compete. MMA is the essence of all competition and everything else to me is just kind of like a dumbed down version that is more of a game where this is a true sport.
jacksons.tv: When did you first become aware about MMA?
Keith Jardine: I was playing junior college in L.A. and someone brought in some old Pancrase videos. It was really cool the way it looked – it was pro wrestling but it was real. From then on I was really curious. Of course I watched the first UFC and I was hooked. I always had it in the back of my mind I wanted to do that since then.
jacksons.tv: How did you become involved in MMA?
Keith Jardine: I met one of Greg’s students when I was in Las Vegas, New Mexico. I started training with him at the rec center. After a short while, I drove to Albuquerque to meet Greg Jackson and see his school. Shortly after that I moved here (to Albuquerque) to train with Greg. That is when the sport was really young. There was no guarantee of any career in this sport but it was just a passion for fighting.
jacksons.tv: Can you describe your experiences in Japan fighting for Pancrase?
Keith Jardine: Fighting in other countries is amazing. To go to another country and do what you love to do and have thousands of people screaming for you and cheering for you in another country, they don’t speak the same language as you, that was very humbling and an incredible experience.
jacksons.tv: How have you seen MMA evolve from a technical perspective?
Keith Jardine: Technically it’s always evolving. That’s why you see some of the fighters that were superstars just a little while ago – their not fairing very well lately. It’s because the sport is always getting better and if you’re not on the top of your game, getting better than it’s going to pass you by. It’s almost a completely different game from when the UFC first started and 10 years from now it’s going to be better than it is now. So, it’s very exciting.
jacksons.tv: How have you seen MMA evolve from a conditioning perspective?
Keith Jardine: I don’t know about all of MMA but for us (Jackson’s) conditioning is always evolving. We are getting a lot more scientific about it. More sports specific in our training. We used just go out and run hills every day almost and now we try to break it down a lot more scientifically. A lot more sports specific.
jacksons.tv: How did you become involved in movies?
Keith Jardine: Movies are something that I have always wanted to do since I was a little kid. I’ve always been a little bit of a movie buff. I have been able to use MMA as a bridge to that. I have gotten a few good opportunities and that is something I want to keep doing. Again, it’s always been a passion of mine and I’ve been in love with movies since I was a kid.
jacksons.tv: Where did the “Dean of Mean” nickname come from?
Keith Jardine: Mike Winkeljohn helped me come up with the name. We were doing K-1 tryouts and we had to have a nickname. We were thinking “Mean” Jardine but “Mean” wasn’t good enough so I had to become the “Dean of Mean”.
jacksons.tv: What is new for 2010 for Mean Style Clothing?
Keith Jardine: Mean Style is really starting to take off – we are retailing a lot. It was always just a little hobby but now it’s becoming a real thing. We had a great December. In 2010 we are going to be having some new stuff coming out and I am really excited about it.
jacksons.tv: Is there anything you would like to add?
Keith Jardine: Thanks to all the fans that have supported me. I know it’s been a wild ride.