Many MMA fans and writers alike have been subscribing to the idea that, on March 27th at UFC 111, current welterweight champion Georges St-Pierre will emerge victorious holding his belt with relative ease against British challenger and Team Rough House fighter, Dan “The Outlaw” Hardy.
This common conjecture is not shared by St-Pierre’s head trainer; renowned mixed martial arts coach Greg Jackson, who is more than aware of Hardy’s abilities when matched with determination.
“I do believe it because he has a lot of skills,” Jackson told the Sherdog Radio Network’s “Savage Dog Show” on Wednesday. “He’s got really good power. The problem with guys like Dan Hardy is that he’s young, he’s hungry, he’s got very good skills and if he catches you the wrong way, you zig when you should have zagged and that might be it.”
The excelling strategist also added that fighting for the first time, on this side of the pond, would not be a factor for the Brit.
“I’m not sure (it will be a factor) because Hardy trains so much in the United States anyway,” Jackson said. “It’s not like America is any kind of new culture shock for him, I don’t think. He’s a really tough guy. I think he’s mentally tough guy, physically tough. So I don’t think there will be a huge disadvantage. I’m certainly not counting on that.”
“The Outlaw” is currently riding a 7-fight win streak; four of those victories have been recorded inside the octagon. During his last performance, the Nottingham native rocked Mike “Quick” Swick multiple times to earn a unanimous decision at UFC 105 in Manchester, England to improve his record to 24-6.
Despite Hardy’s accomplishments and experience, the general consensus dictates a wide gap in probability for an upset victory over GSP. In Greg Jackson’s eyes, this underdog scenario is exactly what makes the Brit dangerous, just as it did with Matt Serra. Jackson reminded Sherdog that he is not too far removed from the days when people thought St-Pierre was “supposed’ to annihilate Serra.
“Remember that Matt Serra was never considered a real threat to Georges,” said Jackson. “Everyone was laughing it off, and then all of a sudden Georges was in a lot of trouble. So if you go into any fight thinking this guy is going to be easy, this guy is going to be a walkover, this isn’t a legitimate threat, it puts you in a place mentally where you aren’t going to train as hard, you’re not going to be as hungry and Hardy is a legitimate serious threat and needs to be treated as such.”
Jackson and GSP will reconvene next week to discuss a possible game plan for his March bout and the possibility of satisfying clamoring fans by challenging a larger, pound-for-pound peer.
Jackson touched on the Anderson Silva conundrum saying that anything was possible but in order to compete against such a heavier opponent, GSP would need an ample amount of time to gain weight.
“I’m not actually sure what the plans are there,” Jackson said. “I don’t see it out of the realm of possibility, that’s for sure. It’s definitely something that’s possible. We’d have to put on weight I’ll tell you that because Anderson walks around quite a bit heavier than Georges, so we’d have to put on some real good weight and have a real good game plan. So it would take time if we want to do it.”