Within the span of 2 weeks, the UFC is giving us 4 title fights. Well, technically 3 “official” title fights and another one between Mir and Carwin for the “interim” title due to Brock Lesnars inactivity due to illness. One of those title fights is a welterweight showdown between Georges St. Pierre and Dan Hardy. Without even looking at the odds in this one, I can tell you that “GSP” is going to be a heavy favorite, and for good reason.
GSP improves every single time he steps into the Octagon and in the fight hype videos for this, he states that he’s “bigger, stronger, more powerful and more skilled than I have ever been”. That’s certainly not good news for Hardy, who’s seriously undersized compared to GSP to begin with.
However, given all his advantages, GSP still isn’t taking the fight lightly (I think he learned his lesson against Matt Serra). Leading up to this fight, GSP has said that Dan Hardy is the most dangerous opponent that he’s had to face thus far in his career.
Now, it’s a good sign that he’s entering into this fight with that mentality – as he’ll likely be extremely prepared – but when you consider the calibre of opponents that GSP has dismantled so far (Hughes, Penn, Koscheck, Alves and Fitch), it’s hard to believe that Dan Hardy is going to throw something at GSP that he hasn’t already had to deal with.
Dan Hardy is a good striker, there’s no denying that. He trains his boxing with Freddie Roach, so it’s expected that he has good hands. His Muay Thai is pretty solid as well, as is Georges St. Pierre’s. This is nothing new for GSP. GSP has dealt with top notch strikers before, just look what he did to Thiago Alvez.
He fought a smart against Alvez as he realized the threat that he posed in the stand up and he used his superior wrestling ability to take him down, over and over. Thiago Alvez is much larger and more powerful than Dan Hardy is as well and GSP still took him down at will. As a matter of fact, GSP took BJ Penn down at will and BJ Penn has incredible takedown defence – perhaps the best in all of MMA due to the dexterity of his limbs.
GSP has been buzz-sawing through the best wrestlers in the welterweight division (Hughes, Koscheck, Fitch) so it seems unrealistic that he will be unable to take down and manhandle Dan Hardy, who is physically smaller and does not have an amateur wrestling background whatsoever. Dan Hardy is a purple belt in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu under Eddie Bravo, but GSP has earned his black belt.
So, when GSP secures a takedown, it seems unlikely that Dan Hardy will somehow be able to slap on a submission from his back. BJ Penn – who’s a Brazilian Jiu Jitsu “phenom” – didn’t have an answer for Georges St. Pierre’s top game so I doubt Dan Hardy will either.
On paper, this should be an easy win for GSP. That being said, it’s a fight and as we’ve seen time after time, ANYTHING can happen in a fight. Dan Hardy has already demonstrated that he has knockout power in his hands so if he’s able to land a clean shot, it could be lights out for GSP. It’s unlikely, but it’s certainly possible. There’s always a “punchers chance” and Dan Hardy can certainly throw hands – just ask Marcus Davis. The “fight hype” is below..