British welterweight Dan Hardy looks to have gotten his wish in regards to facing an opponent who won’t be afraid to strike with him after being repeatedly taken down and controlled in his last fight by Anthony Johnson, a solid wrestler with powerful hands who had promised to keep things vertical in the lead up to their match-up this past March.
According to statement on the UFC’s website, Hardy will meet Chris Lytle on August 14 as part of UFC Live 5 on the Versus Network.
The Indianapolis firefighter is without question an apt grappler as indicated by the twenty-one submission wins on his record but has never shied away from engaging in heated exchanges with his adversaries while standing. His battle with Ebersole was good enough to earn “Fight of the Night” honors, the eighth event-specific bonus in Lytle’s UFC career. After the bout it was reported that Lytle had torn the meniscus in his right knee removed and was considering retirement. Apparently he’s put those plans on hold in order to trade leather with Hardy in August.
While only three of Lytle’s thirty total wins are TKOs with the last coming three years ago, the 36-year old is a former boxer who compiled a 13-1-1 record in the sweet science and has yet to be knocked out in a 50+ fight MMA career including bouts against talented strikers like Thiago Alves, Nick Diaz, and Robbie Lawler. Additionally, he holds past wins over respected competitors Kazuo Misaki and Matt Serra among others.
Regardless of where the fight actually ends up taking place it should not only be fast-paced and fun given the stylistic pairing but one with more on the line than simply a win, as Lytle is coming off a loss to Brian Ebersole at UFC 127 and Hardy has fallen in three straight after starting out his UFC career with four consecutive victories.
“The Outlaw” holds an overall record of 23-9 with in-ring success against Marcus Davis, Akihiro Gono, and Mike Swick but went winless in 2010 after suffering one-sided outpointing by 170-pound champion Georges St. Pierre and the first knockout of his career against Carlos Condit before running into Johnson at UFN 24.
UFC Live 5 will also feature a recently announced bout between former WEC lightweight champ Ben Henderson and top 155-pound contender Jim Miller as well as still-green Ultimate Fighter Season 7 winner Amir Sadollah continuing his growth by taking on hard-hitting veteran Duane Ludwig and original TUF finalist Stephan Bonnar in action against 8-1 Karlos Vemola.
PHOTO CREDIT – UFC