Dan Hardy has revealed his desired strategy against welterweight champion Georges St-Pierre in a recent interview with Sherdog.com. Hardy, the animated Brit, will attempt to execute his successful game plan and dethrone the welterweight champ at UFC 111 in Newark, N.J. on March 27th. Not only will Hardy try to stuff the takedowns of a Canadian Olympic wrestling hopeful but he stresses the importance of accepting the fact that he will on his back at some point in their fight, a prospect that does not scare the Nottingham native.
“To be honest, that’s not something I am too concerned with, as strange as it sounds,” Hardy told Sherdog.com recently. “I’ve accepted that, at some point, he’s going to take me down. I’ve accepted that I’m going to be fighting off my back for some of the fight and I’m just going to work to get back to my feet and do what damage I can from my back.”
George “Rush” St-Pierre’s wrestling ability is arguably the best in the division, if not in the UFC. The Canadian holds one of the highest takedown percentages in MMA, a fact Hardy can not afford to ignore, but at the same time the challenger does not want the threat of takedowns to negate his own dangerous striking and aggression. At the same time, he also wants to implement some tactics from Matt Serra, the only man to defeat St-Pierre in nearly three years.
“I don’t want it to become too much of an issue — defending the takedown — because I won’t throw like I do against anybody else,” Hardy said. “I don’t want to be holding back on any of my kicks and punches because, at the end of the day, that’s what is going to win me the fight. My intention is to go in there, throw hard, just like Matt Serra did, but obviously a little more technical — I’m a little quicker and more technical. I’ve got reach and weight on Matt Serra, so I can do exactly what he did but a lot better.”
Dan “The Outlaw” Hardy has won four consecutive fights since joining the UFC about a year ago. There have been criticisms, most notably from top 10 ranked welterweight Josh Koscheck, regarding Hardy’s accelerated promotion to number one contender. “The Outlaw” has responded to the complaints by saying on his website that fighting Georges St-Pierre for the title is not an opportunity he should be expected to turn down.
He will be the first Brit to fight for a title in the UFC, an honor that includes tremendous pressure and added expectations of becoming the new poster child of British MMA. That amount of pressure would be difficult to harness for any fighter but Hardy uses it to his advantage.
“Of course there is added pressure because it’s Georges St. Pierre and it’s a five-round fight and there’s a belt on the line and all that, but like I always say, I always respond better under pressure,” Hardy said. “You know, if I’m under pressure, I’m more alert, I’m more switched on, I throw my punches harder, I fight at a faster pace. So it’s only going to work to my advantage.”
Though the odds may be heavily against him, Hardy is confidently predicting a victory over the current champ, a thought that helps him envision a triumph return to his countrymen with belt in hand.