Welterweight Dan Hardy has won 23 fights in his career including a quartet inside the Octagon but he’s never experienced a bout like the won he’ll be in tomorrow night at UFC 146. Hardy is currently in the unenviable position of having lost four in row and will almost certainly released by the company if he comes up short against Duane Ludwig.
However, Hardy is extremely confident entering the match-up after changing camps and recapturing the love for MMA he held in his earlier days.
“I kinda got away from being a martial artist,” the 30-year old admitted in an interview with the UFC’s website. “I was always about efficiency and taking the least damage possible and getting the job done as quickly as possible, and I got away from that because I like that gamble, I like that roll of the dice. I like to trade punches and see who falls over first.”
“And at this level, you can’t do that. It’s not a smart thing to do,” he continued. “So I’m trying to be smarter now, and I have good coaches around me that are encouraging me to make the right decisions and do the right thing, and I feel like I’m in a good situation to step into this fight, and I really, genuinely believe I can beat Ludwig at any range, so it really doesn’t matter what he’s gonna do.”
With a win Hardy hopes to not only regain his grip on a roster spot but also the faith of fans.
“I miss that respect from people, I miss people looking at me and saying ”˜You’re one of the best fighters in the world. That’s what I miss, and on May 26, there’s gonna be a lot of surprises. People are gonna look at me and go ”˜Wow, in three fights, we want to see him fight for a title again.’ And that’s really how I feel. I’m in a better place than I have been ever before in my career.”
Hardy-Ludwig will serve as one of the featured fights on the FX portion of the prelims. Other fights joining them on the 8:00 PM EST broadcast include Jamie Varner-Edson Barboza and Jason Miller-CB Dollaway.
PHOTO CREDIT – UFC