Dan Hardy | “The Outlaw”
Ht: 6’0 – Wt: 170 – Age: 30
Born: Nottingham, England
Fights out of: Nottingham, England
Team: Team Rough House
Overall Record: 25-10
UFC Record: 6-4
Dan Hardy is a former title contender and one of England’s top MMA stars. Hardy got his start in mixed martial arts in 2004, struggling to a 5-3 record overall, though 2 of those losses came to veterans Pat Healy and David Baron. Hardy rebounded with a 6-fight win streak before dropping consecutive decisions to Forrest Petz and Baron. Hardy seemed to fight with a renewed vengeance following the losses, winning 8 out of his next 9 fights, the only loss coming via disqualification. Hardy’s final two wins on the independent circuit were against tough veterans Chad Reiner and Daniel Weichel. Hardy signed with the UFC in 2008, winning a razor-thin decision over Japanese vet Akihiro Gono in his UFC debut. Hardy moved on to score an impressive knockout victory over Rory Markham, elevating his status in the UFC’s deep welterweight division. Hardy quickly moved up the ranks by defeating veterans Marcus Davis and Mike Swick in high-profile bouts. With Hardy’s appeal at an all-time high, he was thrust into a title fight opposite UFC welterweight champion Georges St.Pierre at UFC 111. Hardy had no answer for St.Pierre’s superior wrestling, but showed a ton of heart avoiding numerous submission attempts throughout their 5-round fight. Hardy lost via unanimous decision, but came out of the fight looking like a legitimate contender should he improve his wrestling ability. Hardy looked to rebound against Carlos Condit, but was stunningly knocked out in the 1st round. Hardy moved on to face dangerous striker Anthony Johnson, once again losing after Johnson utilized a surprising wrestling-heavy gameplan to win a one-sided unanimous decision victory. After debuting at 4-0 in the UFC, Hardy had lost his last 3 fights, albeit to top competition. Hardy, with his UFC career in jeopardy, faced off against retiring Chris Lytle in a fan-friendly striking match-up. Both fighters traded big blows throughout the fight before Hardy eventually went for a surprise takedown in the 3rd round, which ultimately led to him being choked out by Lytle with just under a minute left in the fight. Hardy was thought to be on the chopping block following his 4th consecutive loss, but UFC execs announced he would not be released.
Hardy fought twice in 2011, losing both fights.
Hardy began the year facing Anthony Johnson at UFC Fight Night 24. Hardy went into the fight thinking that Johnson was willing to trade leather, but Johnson ended up relying heavily on his wrestling and top control. Johnson repeatedly took Hardy down and kept him there, imposing his strength advantage and grinding out rounds for the one-sided unanimous decision victory.
Hardy moved on to face veteran Chris Lytle in Lytle’s retirment bout as both men headlined UFC on Versus 5. Hardy gladly exchanged strikes with Lytle for the first 2 rounds as both men landed solid blows, though Lytle had a slight lead going into the 3rd round. Hardy surprisingly shot in for the takedown in the final round, but Lytle sunk in a guillotine forcing Hardy to tap out. The back-and-forth fight easily earned Fight of the Night honors
Hardy is on shaky ground in the UFC. Not very many fighters have had the luxury to continue fighting in the octagon following a 4-fight losing streak. Hardy has been plagued by an inability to get up off his back. His takedown defense seemed solid, but as he has moved up in competition he has struggled mightily. A fighter has to be well-rounded at the upper echelons of each weight division, and it has been painfully obvious that Hardy is not. Hardy is fine as a mid-tier fighter, sort of in the mold of a Chris Lytle, but he will have to start winning to keep his roster spot. Hardy is fully capable of still beating formidable competition in the UFC, but he needs to regain his confidence that once drove him towards the title in 2010.
Dan Hardy Fight Record
Overall Record: 23-10
2008-2011 Record: 6-4
2011 Record: 0-2
Loss | Chris Lytle | Sub | Rd 3 | UFC | 08/142011
Loss | Anthony Johnson | Dec | Rd 3 | UFC | 03/26/2011
2010 Record: 0-2
Loss | Carlos Condit | KO | Rd 1 | UFC | 10/16/2010
Loss | Georges St.Pierre | Dec | Rd 5 | UFC | 03/27/2010
2009 Record: 3-0
Win | Mike Swick | Dec | Rd 3 | UFC | 11/14/2009
Win | Marcus Davis | Dec | Rd 3 | UFC | 06/13/2009
Win | Rory Markham | KO | Rd 1 | UFC | 02/21/2009
2008 Record: 3-0
Win | Akihiro Gono | Dec | Rd 3 | UFC | 10/18/2008
Win | Daniel Weichel | Tko | Rd 2 | | 05/03/2008
Win | Chad Reiner | KO | Rd 3 | | 04/19/2008