Dan Hardy file photo: Sherdog.com
Despite being knocked out by Carlos Condit in the first round of their UFC 120 welterweight showdown Saturday night at the O2 Arena in London, former title contender Dan Hardy still sported a modest smile at the post-fight press conference.
Hardy, 4-2 since joining the UFC, credited the London fans for making the loss less bitter. The Brit was met by thunderous cheers as his name was announced by Bruce Buffer before the fight, and during the short contest the crowd chanted Hardy’s name. Even after the fight was lost, the audience applauded the efforts of the fallen fighter.
“It’s always nice to have that support. There’s a small minority that always have something negative to say, regardless of what happened. But to have 16,000 fans [support you], it makes a big difference,” said Hardy. “Losing, in my opinion, is the worst feeling in the world. I’m sure in the rest of my life, I’ll come across worse things, but it’s right up there with the worst. And [the fan support] softens the blow a little bit. Pardon the pun.”
Hardy was leveled by a devastating left hook from Condit. Both fighters actually threw the same shot, but Condit’s landed a split second earlier, buckling the Brit’s knees and spelling the end for the Rough House product.
“I got caught. That’s why it’s a sport. It was a good punch,” he said. “I’ll have to go back and watch the fight. I can [only] remember parts of it. I also remember my coach having a word with me on the way to the hospital, just telling me I wasn’t putting my combinations together.”
Hardy looked crisp before eating the left that ended his night, landing sharp leg kicks that cracked off Condit’s thigh. Having now lost back-to-back fights for the first time since 2006, Hardy is looking ahead to next year for a change in fortune.
“Genuinely, I had the intention of at some point taking the fight to the floor. Obviously, I didn’t plan on going down on my own, but it’s a learning curve,” said Hardy. “You know, 2010 wasn’t my year. I’ve only ever had two losses back-to-back once, and [I’ve got to] get back on the horse and keep pushing forward. I’ll be back.”