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Why Dan Hardy vs Carlos Condit Should Be the Headline Fight at UFC 120

Marshall Zelaznik, UFC UK President, says UFC 120 is expected to break the European attendance and gate receipts records set at UFC 105 with 16,693 paying customers. The previous high for a live gate in Europe was the $2.7 million taken in at UFC 75.

Numbers are nice, but this card is hardly the stuff to make a fight fan stay home on Saturday night. Placing two high-profile British fighters on top of the card makes excellent business sense, and the UFC’s visits to the UK have provided the company spectacular results in the past when it comes to collecting doubloons, but are enough fans interested in Michael Bisping and Yoshihiro Akiyama  to make this a classic? No.

So now that business is taken care of, what can we expect from this card?

We can expect a hell of a fight from Dan Hardy and Carlos Condit, that much is certain.

Looking to rebound from an ugly loss to Georges St-Pierre at UFC 111, Hardy, now 23-7 and properly chastised,  returns to the Octagon with a much clearer understanding of what it will take to compete at the top of the welterweight division. It will take wrestling, pure and simple, and Hardy has been putting in the hours to complete that facet of his game.

According to Hardy, he’s spent the  last seven months at ground-game school working with Eddie Bravo. He then returned to the c0ntinent and began working with his Rough House teammates preparing for Carlos “The Natural Born Killer” Condit. Was Hardy done training the ground game when he returned to the UK?  Not a chance, he went straight into “graduate school” with Gracie Barra Jiu-Jitsu coach Victor Estima. Estima is a legend, and working with him has given Hardy renewed confidence about the full extent of his skills.

“I would say that will be the difference against Condit,” Hardy said. “There were a lot of harsh lessons learned in the last fight. There were a lot of things that I took back into training camp.  I surrounded myself with the right guys, the right gym and did the right training. The last six or seven months have really paid off. I’m confident I can take him down and choke him out.”

Does that sound like the old Dan Hardy? No, it does not. Hardy made his bones in the UFC by using his dangerous right hand to knock opponents into dreamland, and now he sounds like a completely different animal, and that makes a ton of sense against Condit.

As for Condit, he’s taking on a tough and hungry opponent in an away game, and that’s never an easy task. Condit, the final WEC welterweight champ, is now 25-5 and last fought at UFC 115 in Vancouver, where he dispatched home favorite and rising star Rory MacDonald in the third round, so he’s entirely shutting out the distractions of being a heavy and drawing the ire of away-game fans.  The New Mexico native has been training with Greg Jackson and his team. That’s a plus, but he may well have bitten off more than he can chew in Hardy. A skilled ground fighter, Condit has to hope that Hardy will indeed take the fight to the ground to test his new skills.

As a striker, Condit is certainly adequate, but if history is to be the judge, a ground fight suits him much more than attempting to stand and bang with Hardy, and yet it sounds like that is exactly what Condit plans to do Saturday.

“I usually don’t ask for fights or call people out, but this is a fight I thought would make some fireworks,” Condit said earlier this week. “We’re going to go toe-to-toe standing and show the fans what MMA’s all about. Stylistically, I know that I can win this fight. What really matters is fight night. Me and Dan are going to go eyeball to eyeball and see who blinks first.”

UFC 120
October 16, 2010
O2 Arena
London, England

Official fight card

Main card

  • Welterweight: James Wilks vs. Claude Patrick
  • Heavyweight: Cheick Kongo vs. Travis Browne
  • Welterweight: John Hathaway vs. Mike Pyle
  • Welterweight: Dan Hardy vs. Carlos Condit
  • Middleweight: Michael Bisping vs. Yoshihiro Akiyama

Preliminary card

  • Light Heavyweight: James McSweeney vs. Fabio Maldonado
  • Lightweight: Spencer Fisher vs. Kurt Warburton
  • Lightweight: Paul Sass vs. Mark Holst
  • Light Heavyweight: Steve Cantwell vs. Stanislav Nedkov
  • Heavyweight: Rob Broughton vs. Vinicius Queiroz
  • Light Heavyweight: Cyrille Diabaté vs. Sweden Alexander Gustafsson

10 COMMENTS
  • nope says:

    All I’ve heard was talk about this fight…

    It should be the headliner.

    Haven’t heard a peep about Bisping/Akiyama.

    Well-Done. Thumb up 11 Thumb down 1

  • MCM says:

    I still don’t think Condit has earned the right to be in the cage with Hardy, much less headline a major international card. The guy was literally 8 sec. away from going 0-3 in the UFC, (he lost that fight with Ellenberger) and doesn’t deserve to fight a guy that went 4-0 over top WW before his title shot.
    But no mater, Hardy agreed to the fight so whatever happens, happens.
    Bisping and Akyiama are higher profile fighters and that’s why they get top billing. Does anyone buy a card just for the headline bout anyway?

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 6 Thumb down 11

  • GIKE MOLDBERG says:

    I am way more pumped about the Condit/Hardy fight and have Condit winning by decision-This card should still be better than UFC 119-If Bisping dances around flicking his jab all night it could get boring quick

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 1

  • See now MCM I take the exact opposite approach. Hardy has no business being in the ring with The Natural Born Killer just like he had no business being in the ring with GSP. Condits record has alot more tough competition than Dan hardy.
    and I find your top WW assessment of Hardy to be downright laughable, Gono and Markham aren’t top anything Davis was a rather close split decision. Swick was an impressive win but nothing to write home about. Using your argument then Carlos won against Kapmann and I agree with the judges he beat Ellenberger(he won round 3 cleanly and I gave him round two) and I would’ve given him the second and third rounds against Rory only because Rory laid on Carlos while Carlos used rubber guard to land strikes. that would be 3-0 in my book but then again the record book is what counts not our opinions.

    Regardless, this is a very evenly matched fight of two brawlers, one with better standup one with better sub skills both with equivalent levels of toughness awesome chins and wills to win. I can see this fight going all over the place and eventually ending with Carlos catchin a sub in a scramble. Great fight I agree it should headline. Bisping vs. Akiyama will still be an incredible fight, none of us are excited about it though due to sexyamas last fight being a loss and almost everyone is irritated by the count. Good free card though. Im excited for it.

    Well-Done. Thumb up 13 Thumb down 2

  • MMA-LOGIC says:

    Hidden due to low comment rating. Click here to see.

    Weak-Sauce. Thumb up 2 Thumb down 13

  • hindsightufuk says:

    i have no problem whatsoever with Bisping/Akiyama or Condit/Hardy
    I think John Hathaway should be fighting a higher profile opponent
    Cheick Kongo vs. Travis Browne, James Wilks vs. Claude Patrick should be rotting in the undercards of a fight night event.
    I dont see why, just because it is being held in England, that we have to get all the shite that isnt worthy of US card.
    I look forward to seeing Spencer fight and Cyrille vs Gustaf, but the rest could be dropped from the roster altogether

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 2

  • Kamakosmo says:

    MMA-LOGIC, i’m not sure why you will be “buying” it, as it’s free on Spike.

    Well-Done. Thumb up 12 Thumb down 1

  • Creature says:

    I agree with pretty much everything superdavenorcal said except i believe condit is 2-1 in the UFC, i gave that fight 2 ellenburger, and MMA-LOGIC were u joking around or being serious? lol if serious then ur post was not very logical at all ;)

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 1

  • kanienkeha009 says:

    @superdave, agreed, Hardy is over rated. No ones excited about the headliner because of one reason: BISPING. He is not as exiciting as Akiyama. Akiyama is coming off 2 fight of th night bonuses. If he was facing the axe murderer like he was supposed to in the summer then there would definately be a buzz surrounding this fight

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 2

  • MMA-LOGIC says:

    No I’m afraid not creature, In Australia it costs around $40 I think.

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 1

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