Dan Hardy will step into the cage with welterweight champion Georges St-Pierre at UFC 111 on Saturday, March 27, as a huge underdog. It will be nothing different for Hardy, who comes into the fight 4-0 in the UFC, but is almost always looked at as an underdog.
“I’ve been in this situation a hundred times before,” Hardy told reporters on the UFC 111 conference call. “Marcus Davis was supposed to knock me out. He was too strong for me and (Mike) Swick was too fast for me.”
Hardy proved the general consensus wrong in those two fights, grinding out two decision victories over solid welterweight contenders.
But St-Pierre is not just a solid welterweight contender. GSP is one of the UFC’s most dominant champions in one of its most competitive divisions. St-Pierre dispatched of Brazilian wrecking machine Thiago Alves in convincing fashion at UFC 100 last July and has not fought since, in part because of a groin injury he suffered during that fight.
“My injury was very painful, but a month after the fight I was already training for my next fight,” he said.
St-Pierre trains along side some of the best MMA fighters in the world in Greg Jackson’s camp, including Rashad Evans and Nate Marquardt. GSP is on a six-fight win streak since being shocked by heavy underdog Matt Serra at UFC 69.
A few weeks before the fight, Hardy trained with Serra at his gym in East Meadow, looking to pick his brain and find any possible advantage over St-Pierre.
“He sees the situation I’m in exactly the same as the situation he was in the first time,” Hardy said. “No one gave him a snowflake’s chance in hell, and he had a lot of belief in himself.”
But the brash Brit has never been one to mince words, and while it may look from the outside like he is trying to talk up his chances against GSP, Hardy truly believes he has the skills to take the champ out.
“I’m going to go in there, and I’m going to do my best to take (the belt) off him, and that’s what I’m here for,” he said. “Whether that’s due to the fact that I’ve talked up a good fight or whether it’s because I’m taking the right opportunities and beat the right guys, I don’t know.”
Whatever the case may be, St-Pierre learned his lesson after his shocking loss to Serra and is taking Hardy very seriously.
“A lot of people underestimate Dan Hardy, and it’s a big mistake,” St-Pierre said. “It’s a big mistake that I’m not going to do. Dan Hardy is the most dangerous guy that I’ve fought so far. He is very well-rounded, and he’s a very smart fighter. He’s a thinking fighter.”
On Saturday, the world will find out whether Hardy will live up to the hype, or whether he will just be added to the long list of victims that have suffered defeat at the hands of Georges St-Pierre.