(photo from ufc.com)
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Jardine outworked Jackson in the first, getting off first and mixing in kicks to Jackson’s legs and body. Jardine landed 12 of 14 leg strikes in the round, and 35 of 73 total strikes for a 47% connect rate. Jackson was more efficient, landing 33 of 60 strikes for 55%.
Jardine pushed the pace further in the second, throwing 96 total strikes, but landed only 29 of them for a 30% connect rate. He did continue to land the kicks (10 of 15 in the round) that Jackson has been vulnerable to in past fights, but Jackson’s advantage in power began to take a toll. Jackson decked Jardine with a left two minutes into the round and unleashed a flurry of ground strikes, landing 9 of 15. Jackson landed 42 of 70 total strikes in the round (60%), and also scored a takedown.
The third round saw Jardine employ more of the ring control that was effective for him in the first, landing 9 of 14 leg strikes and moving well. Jackson, however, continued to be more accurate, landing 55% of his strikes to 34% for Jardine. Jardine’s chin, suspect in the past, stood up fairly well but wore down eventually. Jackson wobbled Jardine repeatedly in the final minute and scored another knockdown in the closing seconds. Jackson also had the only takedown in round 3.
Jardine landed a total of 91 strikes out of 248 thrown in the fight, connecting on 37% of his attempts. Jackson landed 117 of 206 for 57%, with two takedowns, and earned the unanimous decision win.