As UFC welterweight champion Georges St. Pierre prepares to defend his title against Dan Hardy on March 27, there are those who feel Hardy is not deserving of a title shot. In a blog post entitled, “Dan Hardy: It’s fun being in the spotlight,” published Monday on thisisnottingham.co.uk, “The Outlaw” addresses some of those critics.
I am a big underdog against GSP and every interview, every day, in emails from fans, I’m getting asked: ‘How do you expect to beat GSP?’ and ‘Do you think you deserve a title shot?’ I am getting those questions all the time, like GSP is some kind of god and shouldn’t even have to defend his title… I’ve beaten everyone the UFC has put in front of me; I’ve never turned down a fight and I am not about to now.
Let’s look at who Hardy has defeated in the UFC. In his promotional debut at UFC 89, he won a split decision over Akihiro Gono. He knocked out Rory Markham at UFC 95. He won a split decision over Marcus Davis at UFC 99, and he won a unanimous decision over Mike Swick at UFC 105.
Sherdog has Hardy ranked as the number four welterweight in the world. GSP is ranked number one, Jon Fitch is ranked number two, and Thiago Alves is ranked number three.
In a perfect world, maybe there would be more people for Hardy to have to go through before he was deemed “worthy” of a title shot. The fact of the matter is though, he has passed every test the UFC put before him, he has looked good doing it, and GSP already has wins over Fitch and Alves, who are currently (independently) ranked higher than Hardy.
Hardy said he would have been happy having a couple more fights before getting a title shot, but he was offered a late replacement number one contender fight against Mike Swick in November, he accepted, and won convincingly.
Hardy then takes aim at Nate Marquardt, who actually fights in a weight class above “The Outlaw”.
Nate Marquardt is another guy who has been vocal that I am getting some sort of preferential treatment from the UFC. He’s a middleweight, so I can’t see how this concerns him. But all I can say is if I don’t curl up into a ball and get blasted in one round, I’ll do better than he did in his title shot against Anderson Silva. I’ve won four UFC bouts to get here, not-so-great Nate had three, none of which were against world-beaters.
Hardy also responded to some statements Josh Koscheck made about him, and says the guys from American Kickboxing Academy lack loyalty and are not a real team,.
I am very amused Josh Koscheck is still bitching his lungs out that he deserves a title shot, not me. British fans will know Koscheck as the Fraggle-haired guy who got sparked out in one round in London a year ago, only to take his loss out on an innocent chair backstage, scoring a split decision points win over the unsuspecting piece of furniture… Koscheck says I have beaten nobodies but my latest win was over his supposed friend and team-mate in Swick. How loyal. That’s why Jon Fitch isn’t improving, why Koscheck has so many one-sided losses on his record and why Swick will never fight for a title. They aren’t really a team, they don’t have each others’ best interests at heart and clearly there’s a lack of respect in that gym.
Hardy says Rough House, where he trains, is a real team and have gone 14-1 in their last 15 fights. He claims the one loss came when two of the team members, Andre Winner and Ross Pearson, fought one another. Hardy says he is glad to know he has that kind of team behind him as he prepares for St. Pierre.
Dan “The Outlaw” Hardy will fight Georges “Rush” St. Pierre for the welterweight title on March 27 at the Prudential Center in Newark, N.J. at “UFC 111: St. Pierre vs. Hardy”.