It was a tough stretch for Dan Hardy, to say the least.
Four fights, four straight losses. There was the loss to Georges St. Pierre with the welterweight title on the line, the first-round knockout to Carlos Condit that followed, the unanimous decision he dropped to Anthony Johnson and then the submission loss to a retiring Chris Lytle.
Most fighters in the UFC only get three in a row before they’re cut. Hardy could have had five, but instead he knocked out Duane Ludwig in May and ended the roughest skid of his career.
“A lot of soul searching,” Hardy said when asked on “The Savage Dog Show” what it had taken to get back on track. “A lot of refocusing, a lot of self-examination. What am I doing this for? Why do I want to do it? … Just a lot of questioning really. There were a lot of changes I had to make in my training camp as well, a lot of things that I knew weren’t working for me. I wasn’t grasping new concepts that were being taught to me by coaches and like I said, I’d stopped enjoying my training camps.”
Hardy had shot up the UFC welterweight ladder with four straight wins. Then everything changed when he went 25 minutes with St. Pierre for the title.
“There was a lot of extracurricular activities that came with the training camp that I had not experienced before the title fight,” Hardy said. “Obviously as soon as you get a shot at the title, everything changes. Everybody wants to talk to you. Everybody wants to know where you are and there are cameras around you all the time. It was just a massive jump forward after the [Mike] Swick fight. I just wasn’t prepared for it, I don’t think.”
Hardy may have saved himself just in time, though. After beating Ludwig, the UFC matched Hardy against Amir Sadollah at UFC on Fuel TV 5, which is scheduled for Sept. 29 in Nottingham, England. Now Hardy has a chance to start another win streak in his hometown.
“He’s very, very durable,” Hardy said of Sadollah. “He’s fairly well rounded. He’s got good striking. He’s got good jiu-jitsu as well. I think it’s going to be a fun fight. I know he’s going to come and try to win, which I respect that. Like I said, I always want somebody that wants to come in there and beat me up because it makes my job easier as well. I’m excited. It’s the perfect fight for Nottingham as well because I know he’s going to be there to fight. He’s going to be durable to give the fans value for their money and I’m excited. He’s pretty much a mirror image of me from a few years ago, with slightly better jiu-jitsu maybe.”
Listen to the full interview (beginning at 52:44).