(Steve Cofield chats with Dan Hardy after UFC 95.)
By know you may have heard that Dan Hardy is following up on his big knockout victory over Rory Markham at UFC 95 by immediately angling for a fight with Marcus Davis. He’s already taken some shots at Davis’ attempts to brand himself as a U.K. fan favorite, telling Sherdog.com that “The Irish Hand Grenade” is “not English; he’s not Irish. I was born here, and I’ve been bred here. I don’t mind taking on that challenge and showing him this is my home and not his.”
Boom. Immediately this fight has a hook. Not only does Hardy have a point – for all Davis’ attempts to sell us on his Irish heritage, the thick New England accent limits our suspension of disbelief, kilt or no – but he’s also taking a proactive role in his own matchmaking, which is a very smart move for a guy in his situation.
If Hardy were to hang back and let the UFC decide who to put him against next, it’s a crapshoot. He might get Jon Fitch, for Pete’s sake. Or an angry Josh Koscheck with something to prove, someone who might exploit what is generally the weakest area of any British fighter’s game: wrestling.
Instead, he sets himself up a more winnable, and more interesting fight with Davis, who’s known for not being the kind of pussy who will take a fight to the ground. Fight promoters love nothing so much as a natural storyline, and if it’s one that will sell especially well for a future U.K. card, even better.
Give Hardy some credit. The guy has brains. Don’t be surprised if he gets the fight with Davis, and if it ends up being one we talk about for weeks leading up to it. Then he just has to win.