Even though a title was on the line at UFC 146 no fighter on the card was under more pressure to perform than Dan Hardy. The 30-year old Brit entered the Octagon on a four-fight, putting him on the brink of being released and likely needing to do some soul searching in the event of a defeat. Fortunately for fans of “The Outlaw,” Hardy saved his job – possibly even his career – by knocking opponent Duane Ludwig out in a little less than four minutes and notching his first victory since November 2009 along the way.
After the win Hardy was asked how much the success meant to him, and rather than gloat about the scintillating stoppage he pointed to the importance of emerging triumphant as a way of honoring the individuals who had helped prepare him for the task.
“More than anything I wanted to validate the work my coaches had done for me. I moved teams and I’ve got a great team of guys around me now. I’ve put so much work in over the past few months and I didn’t want it to go to waste. The only time I can prove it to everybody is in the Octagon,” said Hardy in a post-fight interview on Fuel TV.
While Hardy was understandably happy about the bout’s result it was also a bittersweet outcome based on his respect for Ludwig’s contributions to the sport and stand-up prowess.
“Unfortunately I had to do it against a guy I’m a big fan of. He’s a little bit of a hero of mine, Duane Ludwig,” a somber Hardy admitted after the win. “But it’s a dog-eat-dog world. That’s the kind of sport we’re in.”
Hardy also confirmed he exited the fight without any injuries, clearing the path for him to fight in his hometown of Nottingham, England when the UFC stops there on September 29 as was alluded to by UFC President Dana White after Saturday night’s show.
Watch the full interview with Hardy below:
PHOTO CREDIT – UFC