Dan “The Outlaw” Hardy promised not to let Anthony Johnson have his way with him tonight at the Key Arena in Seattle, Washington but was unable to deliver on his pledge. “Rumble” dominated the fight from start to finish and seemingly highlighted once again the biggest weakness in Hardy’s game: wrestling.
Early on in the first round, Johnson knocked Hardy to the ground with a powerful head kick and then followed him to the mat to establish what would become the pattern for the rest of the fight. Johnson dominated Hardy from the top, but didn’t get off much significant offense. Hardy did well at keeping the much larger Johnson’s positioning in check and avoided taking very much damage, but was unable to prevent “Rumble” from mopping the canvas with his multi-colored mohawk.
In the second, Hardy had brief success on the feet but Johnson never had trouble finding the takedown and “The Outlaw’s” kimura attempts from the bottom only served to stall Johnson, they never had him in much trouble. Johnson rode out the round grinding Hardy down from top position.
Hardy tried for an ill-advised takedown at the start of the third that ended up with the Brit on his back again. Johnson found the takedowns as easily in the third as he did in the first two frames and eventually took Hardy’s back. He gave up the position to try an arm triangle and a neck crank that the durable Hardy avoided. Still, there was no question as the round wound down as to who the rightful victor was, and no one complained when Johnson was announced the winner by unanimous decision.
With the win, “Rumble” bounces back from a 2009 defeat to Josh Koscheck and returns successfully from over a year layoff. Johnson now stands at 9-3 as a pro, while Hardy falls to 23-9 and extends his losing streak to three in a row.