Keith Jardine, once known for upset victories in the UFC and other MMA fights, has now moved on from the sport. He has actually done well for himself since his retirement from MMA in 2012.
Jardine is now an actor and has an impressive resume for someone doing bit-part roles. However, his dating life has not let him leave fighting behind completely.
His longtime girlfriend (and now fiancée) also used to fight inside the octagon, and through her, he never really left the mixed martial arts scene.
Keith Jardine’s Life Now Post MMA Retirement
Jardine, originally from Butte, Montana, moved to Los Angeles when he was very young. After graduating from Canoga Park High School, where he played football and wrestling, he played college football for the New Mexico Highlands University.
With a degree in Human Performance and Sport, he then forayed into the world of sports, first working as a personal trainer, football coach, and rugby player. He also had stints as a miner and a bounty hunter.
In the late 1990s, he moved to Alburquerque, New Mexico, where he started training for MMA and made his octagon debut in 2001.
Since his debut, he has fought with Pancrase in Japan and Strikeforce. But he will always be best known for his upset victories in short-notice bouts against fighters ranked higher than him inside the octagon, mostly in the UFC.
Other than MMA, he also has four bouts as a professional boxer under his belt. His last MMA fight came on July 14, 2012, for Strikeforce against Roger Gracie, which he lost.
As for his MMA record, including UFC, Strikeforce, and other independent promotions, he ended his career with 17 wins, 11 losses, and 2 draws. His boxing record has 3 wins, 1 draw, and no losses.
After hanging up his gloves in 2012, he crossed over to being an actor. He always had an appreciation for the craft, and he just wanted to “learn the profession, show it respect, pay [his] dues.”
He made his name in show business through stunt work, and has gotten small roles in many big Hollywood projects. He made his acting debut in the 2008 movie Beer for My Horses and has since accumulated 58 acting credits. At the time of this writing, he has seven projects in the pipeline.
The biggest movies and TV shows The Dean of Mean has appeared in include Breaking Bad (alongside Bryan Cranston), Tactical Force, John Wick (alongside Keanu Reeves), Preacher, Godless, Bird Box, and the highly anticipated 2022 movie End of the Road.
With an energetic on and off-screen presence, Jardine has done well for himself in Hollywood after his fighting days. Many of his fans applaud his success in landing bit-part roles in big movies, which is, according to consensus, not as easy as it sounds.
Jardine himself agrees. “This is way more competitive than fighting ever was,” he said during his interview with MMA Fighting in December 2017.
Keith Jardine’s Relationship with Fiancee Jodie Esquibel
Jardine left the fighting scene behind a long time ago, but the fighting never left him. And while a part of that might be because he will always be an MMA guy and because he has to do stunts in movies, but a big part of that is also because of his fiancée, Jodie Esquibel.
Esquibel, like her partner, is a mixed martial artist who has been fighting professionally since 2011. She has appeared inside the octagon for Jackson’s MMA, Invicta FC, The Ultimate Fighter, and UFC.
The couple has been together for over a decade now and have been engaged for most of it. He proposed to her before his 2007 MMA win against Chuck Liddell.
Keith Jardine with his longtime fiancee, Jodie Esquibel, at a UFC event in February 2019. (Photo: Keith Jardine/Instagram)
Even though they both know the MMA scene pretty well, their careers did not overlap much. Jardine retired in 2012, but Esquibel only began in 2011. After his retirement, he focused equally on becoming an established name in Hollywood and helping his fiancée establish herself in MMA.
He has always been in her corner, right from the beginning, both literally and figuratively. Although he finds watching her fight more difficult than fighting himself, he has always been there for her during her fights, before and after.
“I always ask Jodie if she wants someone else in the corner, but she always wants me there,” he told FOX Sports in August 2021.
It’s not just MMA that they share in common. Her Instagram bio suggests she is a lot more than just a fighter — she is a fitness trainer, tactical and flight paramedic, and a firefighter, just like Jardine was in his past.
Esquibel is yet to retire, and at 36, with her fiancé by her side, she is still going strong in Invicta FC.