Many mixed martial arts analysts and fans have questioned welterweight Dan “The Outlaw” Hardy’s (23-6, UFC 4-0) legitimacy as Georges St. Pierre’s next challenger, ever since it was announced after Hardy slugged his way to victory against Mike Swick at UFC 105.
Despite being undefeated in the UFC, portions of the MMA community still remain unconvinced the British Bomber has done enough to earn an opportunity at the title. Consider St-Pierre, a believer of Hardy’s authenticity as a contender, on the other side of the argument.
In a recent interview with MMAjunkie Radio, the French-Canadian welterweight champion explained how refreshing it was to compete against a new face in a division where he has already toppled the top three guys at 170lbs: Jon Fitch, Thiago Silva, and Josh Koscheck. St-Pierre (19-2, UFC 13-2) considers Hardy an excellent challenge.
“He deserves it,” St-Pierre said. “He’s undefeated in the UFC, and he’s a great challenge for me. He’s a top-10 guy, and we haven’t fought yet. Most of the contenders at 170 pounds are guys I’ve already fought.”
St-Pierre’s future in the welterweight division has recently been left to speculation due to his numerous accomplishments in the weight class. He is currently riding a six-fight winning streak, avenged losses to both Matt Serra and Matt Hughes, and has beat BJ Penn twice at 170lbs.
His clear dominance at welterweight has many calling for a super-fight between St-Pierre and middleweight kingpin Anderson Silva just so St-Pierre can challenge himself.
While discussing why it is important for him to only fight “big fish”, which Silva qualifies as, St-Pierre wanted to remind people that he refuses to look past the heavy-handed Team Rough House competitor, who has racked up victories against Swick, Gono, Davis, and Rory Markham.
“I’m the kind of guy that the reason why I fight mostly three times a year – I don’t fight anymore five times a year – is that every time I fight, it’s a big fight. I prefer it like this because I want to get the big fish,” explained St-Pierre.
The French-Canadian’s ultimate goal is to simply be the best fighter; in order to do so, he stressed the importance of improving after each fight.
“I want to get the best fighter. At the same time, it gives me the opportunity to improve more between fights because I have more time to train. I become a better version all the time than the guy that I was in my last fight. That’s why I like it that way,” St-Pierre added.
“I always want to fight the best guys because I want to be the best. By fighting the best guy, you improve more. I don’t want to fight too often, but when I fight, I want to fight the best guy.”
The headlining welterweights lock horns at UFC 111, March 27th in Newark, New Jersey at the Prudential Center.