‘Yellowstone’ Season 4, Episode 3: Former UFC Fighter Gets Blown Away During Opening Scene

by Jim Casey
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Yellowstone Season 4, Episode 3 opened with John Dutton brooding by the fire. Elsewhere, Kayce Dutton and crew began exterminating what was left of the Montana militia. And the first militia casualty of Episode 3 was none other than former UFC fighter Keith Jardine.

Less than 17 seconds into the episode, Jardine’s character—clad only in underwear and socks—walked out of a house onto a porch with an assault rifle, as his chained pitbull ferociously barked. Jardine raised his firearm and was immediately blown away by an off-screen shot. “The Dean of Mean,” as he was known during his MMA days, was off the screen. Bye Keith, Yellowstone fans hardly knew ye.

I jumped out of my chair when I saw Jardine. It had to be him. Bald head, facial hair, 235-pounds of imposing physicality, and, of course, cauliflower ears. Years ago, I covered MMA for a living, and Jardine was always a good dude. After the episode, I watched Jardine’s brief scene over and over, pausing it to make sure it was him. Jardine wasn’t listed in the credits, and I could find no mention of his appearance online.

The Dean of Screen

MMA fans need no Keith Jardine introduction. But for everyone else, Jardine appeared on Season 2 of The Ultimate Fighter in 2005. He made 13 appearances inside the UFC Octagon, notching impressive victories over former champion Chuck Liddell and future champion Forrest Griffin, among others. Jardine also fought in King of the Cage, M-1, and Strikeforce, before retiring from the sport in 2012.

Since then, Jardine has kept busy on the big screen, as both a stunt actor and character actor. Notable roles include his performance in the Netflix miniseries Godless, 2014’s John Wick, and 2017’s Shot Caller. Jardine also recently wrote, directed, and starred in his first short film, El Paso 11:55, which he’s currently entering in film festivals.

A quick DM via Instagram, and I had the Dean of Mean on the phone. Outsider caught up with Keith to find out how the Montana-born actor got roped into a Yellowstone appearance.

Yellowstone was actually a stunt job, which I don’t do a lot of anymore, but I’m such a huge Taylor Sheridan fan, and friends with the stunt coordinators,” says Keith to Outsider. “It was actually the first job coming out of the pandemic. It was amazing to work with those guys.”

Talking Taylor Sheridan

The major draw to Yellowstone for Jardine? Taylor Sheridan.

“I have so much respect for Taylor. I’m a Yellowstone fan, but really I’m a Taylor Sheridan fan,” Jardine said. “Hell or High Water is one of my favorite neo-Westerns ever. Wind River is amazing. He wrote Sicario, which I love. Taylor has this passion. And that’s what I have, the passion—to struggle, and suffer, and keep going. That’s what acting and writing is for me now. It’s so competitive, way more competitive than fighting ever was. Whenever I get a new job, it’s the same rush when I got a new fight. I’m re-inventing myself every day and learning every day.”

Looking Ahead for Jardine

We may not see Keith Jardine on Yellowstone again, but the Dean of Screen teased a “big” announcement from his acting/writing career, which he’s excited to share very soon.

“I’ve got something really big in the works that I can’t talk about yet,” adds Keith, “but when it happens, it will be really big for me.”

Yellowstone will air its new episode, “Winning or Losing,” tonight (Nov. 21) at 7 p.m. CT.

Outsider.com