As awesome as Hardy has looked in his first two UFC fights, I think he’s generating a little more buzz than he deserves.
His knock-out was pretty sweet, but that’s what happens in every Rory Markham fight. Rory’s just too aggressive and it costs him fights. Looking at his record you quickly see either he knocks you out, or you knock him out, all five of his losses are from TKO’s. Brodie Farber was whoopin’ Markham’s ass for the first three minutes before he got annihilated by that head kick.
Anyways, the point is Markham and Gono, for that matter, are not even mid-level when we are speaking in reference to the real UFC welterweight contenders.
At the post UFC 95 press conference, Dan Hardy had this to say regarding who he would like for his next opponent.
“I certainly think it’d make an exciting fight. Without a doubt, Marcus is a great fighter to watch. I’m a fan of his. I like watching all of his fights. He’s had a couple of fights in the UK, and he’s kind of building himself a fan base, but he’s not English; he’s not Irish. I was born here, and I’ve been bred here. I don’t mind taking on that challenge and showing him this is my home and not his.”
Marcus Davis deserves one more shot to be a real contender before he becomes a journeyman. Hardy and Davis would obviously be an exciting fight, but it will probably be more valuable down the road when Hardy becomes more established to the American fans. That was his first fight shown in the US, so he is still a relative unknown to any casual fan. I would prefer they save that fight to headline a future European card.
A much better fight right now for Hardy would be Chris Lytle. That has the makings for a war, both like to bang and both are incredibly resilient. Lytle is the perfect type of fight because it is low risk-high reward. It could co-headline a UFC Fight Night in the US so Hardy can get some exposure against a fan favorite. Lytle is a tough guy, but if Hardy can’t handle him then why are talking about the guy anyway?
A great fight for Davis would be Anthony Johnson. Now that is a fight, classic old-school boxer against a free swinging powerhouse like Johnson is guaranteed to deliver. Johnson has way too much range for Davis to play his angles and footwork games. Davis would have a huge challenge ahead of him but I think that might be what he needs to get him over the hump of being semi-contender. A loss for Johnson wouldn’t mean much, he’s young and has an extremely bright future ahead of him. Both are currently awaiting a fight so I say book it for UFC 98 in May.