(VidProps: UK Telegraph)
The UK Telegraph posted part two of its video interview with Dan Hardy this week, leading up to Hardy’s clash with Carlos Condit on Saturday night at UFC 120. Though the video is titled “My secret weapon after losing to Georges St. Pierre,” Hardy doesn’t mention anything about GSP or his secret weapon here. Hopefully, that’s coming in part three. What Hardy does do in the above video is a bit of clarification about what he meant to say while he was ripping into wrestlers in a recent column he penned for his hometown newspaper. Once again – as we’ve already discussed – Hardy seems far more sensible when you hear the words come out of his mouth than when your read them on paper.
The five-time UFC vet explains that even though he actually wrote the words, “the problem is there’s beginning to be too much wrestling in UFC Octagon,” he didn’t mean it as an insult to wrestlers, per se. Like, what would give you that idea?
“It was quite broad, the opinion that I was giving,” Hardy says here. “It wasn’t necessarily aimed at wrestler as such. It was aimed at people coming into a fight and avoiding the fight. The same could be said of strikers at times. My first fight in the UFC was very frustrating. I fought Akihiro Gono at UFC 89 and for 15 minutes I chased him around the Octagon. There wasn’t really any engagement from him at all … We’ve seen a trend recently of wrestlers not avoiding the fight but not coming to finish their opponents. They’re using their wrestling to control the fight rather than (do) damage.”
See, pretty reasonable, right? The interesting thing here is that his marks the first time I can remember someone stopping mid-bitch about wrestling to concede the truth that punch-oriented fighters can be just as guilty of turning in snore-worthy efforts as grapplers. For example, though Hardy pretty much calls him out for it here, very few people criticize a guy like Gono for going the distance 31 times in 55 fights. Instead, we focus on how funny his ring entrances are. When Lyoto Machida wins five of his first six UFC fights by decision, people call him the best in the world. When Jon Fitch does it, people call him boring.
“Wrestlers recently have been using their wrestling to just avoid losing,” Hardy continues. “Now obviously the rules are more well established and the judging is more well established. People know the judging criteria and they can kind of play to it. Clinging on to someone’s legs or taking them down and burying your face in their bellybutton for 15 minutes, to me, isn’t winning a fight, you know what I mean? You’re making no effort to get your opponent out of there before the final bell. That’s really my issue.”
Point taken. The unified rules, as currently stated, reward control and dominant positioning and oftentimes judges do give more credence to a go-nowhere takedown than it actually deserves. The problem is, as much as some people don’t like to watch wrestling in MMA, any of the so-called available “fixes” for the so-called “problem” would only make things worse.
Nobody wants to see even more power conceded to referees and judges, many of whom can’t handle the responsibilities we already afford them. Yet that’s exactly what would happen if you try to encourage refs to take the initiative for more frequent stand-ups or change the way judges credit takedowns or even implement a Pride-style yellow card system. That last option would be particularly disastrous. You really want to give referees like John Schorle and Steve Mazzagatti more power to affect the outcome of fights than they already have?
“It’s a very grey area in the sport,” Hardy admits. “It’s a very difficult area to approach and a problem to solve. I think more than anything it (comes) down to the fighter. It’s their responsibility to get in there and fight.”
Damn it. I hate it when this guy is so levelheaded.