While the main event of UFC Live 5 shouldn’t technically be the main event, at least where contendership implications are concerned, there is no denying that the welterweight battle between a veteran with five fight of the night awards and a former title challenger should be a highly entertaining fight. Expect bigger bombs than a Prince Fielder homerun when the mohawk’d Brit and the Indy firefighter step into the cage on Sunday. And hopefully we get the return of Brittney Palmer as well.
Welterweight Fight: Dan Hardy vs. Chris Lytle
The Gentleman’s Agreement: Chris Lytle and Dan Hardy likely have a gentleman’s agreement in this fight. For those that don’t know, the gentleman’s agreement is when two fighters agree beforehand to try and have the fight of the night, which usually means punching each other in the face until someone falls or the 15 minutes is up.
Hardy MUST Win: Hardy has this reputation as being an exciting fighter, even though he’s never won fight of the night, and two of his last three bouts were pretty boring thanks to his lack of takedown defense. On a three fight slide, Hardy must win this fight. He can’t afford a loss, even an exciting loss, before not many people survive the UFC cut list when they lose four straight. Just look at Keith Jardine, who has wins of Forrest Griffin and Chuck Liddell. He got cut after four straight loss, all to very good competition, and most of them more exciting than Hardy’s recent performances.
Boxing/Striking: Both men are very good boxers. Hardy has a great counter left hook while Lytle puts everything into his punches and has some ripping body shots. Lytle is the more aggressive of the two fighters, but that plays right into Hardy’s counter punching game. Hardy has some very underrated leg kicks, which he’d be well advised to use for a number of reasons.
Lytle’s Knee: Lytle had knee surgery four weeks prior to his UFC 127 fight, didn’t really take time off, and considered retiring after the fight. Obviously he’s not going to retire but he has no meniscus in his knee, which is going to affect him moving forward in his fight career. He likely won’t have the power that he once did, he won’t move as well, and he won’t be as explosive.
Power vs. Chin: Hardy is known for his power, with the majority of his victories coming by way for (T)KO. Lytle is known for his chin, having never suffered a (T)KO loss from strikes, only by cut. So something may give in this fight. Lytle has taken a lot of blows to the chin in his career, and maybe it will only take one Hardy left hook to put the final hole in Lytle’s punch card.
The Ground Game: Everyone knows about Lytle’s ground game. He’s a very active submission fighter once the fight hits the mat and constantly looks for submissions. Hardy moved his camp to Las Vegas to train with Roy Nelson, so I expect that we’ll see improvements in his ground game. If nothing else, I would hope that he’s drilled how to get up off his back.
Fight Prediction: This should be an exciting fight because they’re both likely to stand and trade, which also makes this a tough fight to pick. I’m going to go with Hardy though, only because Lytle’s knee injury really worries me and I think Hardy will be able to counter him most of the fight. If Lytle decides to use his ground game, he could definitely take this fight.
Official Prediction: Dan Hardy to defeat Chris Lytle by Decision