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SILVA MEETS JARDINE AT CROSSROADS MIXED MARTIAL ARTS: BRAZILIAN LOOKS TO BREAK SKID OPPONENT COULD GET TITLE SHOT WITH WIN.

Byline: Miguel Lopez

Staff Writer

Light heavyweight sluggers Wanderlei Silva and Keith Jardine are in a crossroads in their career.

Silva is a living legend in the sport that has fought professionally for 12 years and in the process, racked up some of the most biggest knockouts in MMA en route to a 31-8-1 record. But in his past three bouts he has put on stellar fights that had the fans cheering during the back-and-forth action, but all three resulted in losses for the Brazilian.

Jardine does not have the experience or big win record Silva does, but he does have two key wins recently over two top 5 fighters in the weight class in Forrest Griffin and Chuck Liddell. He can also propel himself to the top of the title picture if he adds another upset to his record tonight at UFC 84 at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas.

"This fight is very important to me," the 5-foot-11, 205-pound Silva said. "My last fight was very exciting but I lost. I need to win now; I have lost three in a row, so I need to win."

The man across the Octagon knows Silva brings in credibility, an impressive record and heavy hands, all of which would make a win for Jardine that much sweeter.

"(Getting the win) that what it's all about for me," Jardine (13-3-1) said. "I am not worried about a title shot. I would love to get another win against a legend."

In the main event, BJ Penn will battle Sean Sherk for the lightweight title. Sherk held the title until he was stripped of the crown due to his positive doping test. Penn earned the vacant title after stopping Joe Stevenson.

On the main card, Lyoto Machida will square off against Tito Ortiz, Thiago Silva will battle Antonio Mendes and Wilson Gouveia takes on Goran Reljic.

miguel.lopez@presstelegram.com
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Title Annotation:Sports
Publication:Daily News (Los Angeles, CA)
Date:May 24, 2008
Words:317
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