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Mike Swick Weighs In on Herschel Walker, Dan Hardy

I spoke to Mike Swick this week for an article on his attempt to get back in the title picture after the loss to Dan Hardy.  While Swick admits he lost the fight, he says he can’t accept that Hardy might be the better fighter, and wants a rematch somewhere down the line to prove it.  When asked if Hardy deserves the shot at GSP after winning the decision at UFC 105, Swick joined Nate Marquardt, Rory Markham, and a chorus of other observers in saying absolutely not:

"The thing about this sport is, there are so many variables that go into it. He did beat me. And if I would have won then I would have been the No. 1 contender, so you can look at it that way. But just because he won that fight, I don’t think that means he deserves a title shot. He’s only had three fights in the UFC and he’s only had one finish. He hasn’t had the same road that a lot of the top welterweights in the UFC have. Even though he beat me, I have to say he doesn’t deserve it. If he thinks he does, I’m sorry, but he’s wrong."

I also talked to Swick about the newest addition at the American Kickboxing Academy, Herschel Walker.  It’s one thing for Strikeforce and their employees to insist that he has what it takes to hang with the pros, but what has the longtime AKA fighter seen from him in the gym?


Firas Zahabi Is Trying to Recruit Gegard Mousasi as a Sparring Partner For GSP

(Can one gym even hold that much badass?  Magic eightball says, ‘Outlook not so good.’)

As UFC welterweight champ Georges St. Pierre puts on more weight and continues to dominate every 170-pounder in his path, finding sparring partners who can push him is apparently becoming more of a problem.  In a talk with, Tristar Gym owner and longtime GSP trainer Firas Zahabi says that he can’t even put him up against other fighters his own size in training anymore, adding "It’s getting scary.  Georges is getting better and better, believe it or not." 

That’s why he’s looking to add a new face to St. Pierre’s training camp: Strikeforce light heavyweight champ Gegard Mousasi.

Since he mentioned it no less than twice in the interview, we’re assuming Zahabi is serious about getting "The Last Gypsy" in the gym with GSP.  If it happens, we can only hope that the cameras are there to capture it for "UFC Primetime."  Though who are we kidding, St. Pierre-Mousasi is a sparring session worthy of pay-per-view.  Maybe they should just film it and keep it in the can.  That way, if GSP runs through Dan Hardy too quickly, they can go ahead and add it to the broadcast to make the fans feel like they got their money’s worth.  As an added bonus, it seems like the kind of thing that would really, really piss off M-1 Global.


Next UFC “Primetime” Show Will Attempt to Make GSP-Hardy Seem Like a Competitive Fight

Dan Hardy
(‘Of course I’m wearing me bandana. I’m not going to walk around during flu season without taking the necessary precautions, now am I?’)

Ever since the first installment of "UFC Primetime" in the run-up to last January’s Georges St. Pierre-B.J. Penn fight blew our collective minds, we’ve been waiting for Spike TV and the UFC to get together on another collaboration of slow-mo walking and carefully crafted storylines.  Surely, we thought, they were waiting until they had an especially compelling title fight.  Or, as we learned in an email from Spike TV today, a title fight that most people expect to be a total squash match.

Beginning on Wednesday, March 10, Spike will run a three-part "Primetime" series to hype the UFC 111 main event bout between GSP and Dan Hardy.  Presumably this will be where they attempt to sell us on the idea that Hardy offers a considerable challenge to the welterweight champ, and that the oddsmakers who currently have St. Pierre pegged as a 6-1 favorite have no clue what they’re talking about.

The show is bound to be visually compelling with great production values, so it will still be worth watching.  But didn’t we already get all the backstory we needed on GSP last time?  And wouldn’t it be more fun to see this done for a future fight that seems a little more competitive?


Famous Last Words: Dan Hardy Edition

(For reference: St. Pierre vs. Serra 1, UFC 69, 4/7/07.)

From an interview with #1 welterweight contender Dan Hardy on Sherdog:

“I’ve accepted that, at some point, [St. Pierre is] going to take me down. I’ve accepted that I’m going to be fighting off my back for some of the fight and I’m just going to work to get back to my feet and do what damage I can from my back…I don’t want it to become too much of an issue — defending the takedown — because I won’t throw like I do against anybody else,” Hardy said. “I don’t want to be holding back on any of my kicks and punches because, at the end of the day, that’s what is going to win me the fight. My intention is to go in there, throw hard, just like Matt Serra did, but obviously a little more technical — I’m a little quicker and more technical. I’ve got reach and weight on Matt Serra, so I can do exactly what he did but a lot better…
The fight’s basically going to be, I would say, two rounds of me defending takedowns and getting up off my back and landing shots as soon as I can, as soon as I can get some space, and in the third round I think I will connect with something clean and hurt him,” Hardy said. “I certainly think by that time he will already be opened up and bleeding.”

Report: GSP vs. Dan Hardy Slated for March in Newark — Wait, Seriously?

Dan Hardy crying boo hoo gif UFC
(Don’t worry, buddy, Cory Booker has done wonders with the murder rate.)

If MMA Fanhouse is to be believed, Georges St. Pierre‘s next welterweight title defense against Dan Hardy won’t go down in Canada, Las Vegas, or the U.K. According to a source with knowledge of the situation, the scrap will instead go down in March at the Prudential Center in Newark, New Jersey. It would be the UFC’s first visit to Jerz since UFC 78. Fanhouse offers the only possible explanation:

With neighboring New York likely to host a crucial vote on MMA sanctioning in 2010, the UFC’s visit next door could also serve as a lobbying tool, giving New York legislators an up-close look at the organization and its financial impact in bringing an MMA fight night to the state.

Following UFC 105, Hardy told reporters "I’ll fight [GSP] in Canada, in Vegas, in the U.K., on the moon, in a phone box on the corner, in the car park. As long as he brings his belt along for me to take off, I don’t really mind. This is a great opportunity and I’ll fight him anywhere." He then added, "Well, anywhere but Newark, obviously. Good Lord, man, have you seen that place?"*

* Clarification: Hardy didn’t actually say this last bit. Our apologies to any Brick City residents who took this seriously…


‘UFC 105: Couture vs. Vera’ — Blow-by-Blow

Randy Couture UFC 105 Logan Stanton
(When Logan saw the scarf, a chill went through her body. The beaten, bloodied man she saw in the alley — suddenly it all made sense. / Photo courtesy of the UFC 105: Weigh in Pics set on CombatLifestyle.)

By now, Randy Couture and Brandon Vera have already headlined UFC 105 in Manchester, England. Either Mike Swick or Dan Hardy has earned a title shot against Georges St. Pierre. Michael Bisping could have put on a heroic performance against Denis Kang in front of his fellow Brits, or he could have been exposed again. Maybe I already know what happened in these fights; if so, I’m not telling, at least not yet. Maybe you know as well, in which case we’re flattered that you’re here, but we’re a little curious as to what you’re doing on CagePotato on a Saturday night, reading descriptions of fights that you’ve already seen live in England or via an Internet feed, or at the very least spoiled for yourself on another website, especially when they’re being shown right now on Spike TV, though if you live on the West Coast, the show won’t even begin for another three hours. It’s all a little mind-bending when you stop to think about it, so don’t. Don’t think. Simply flow, and flow simply. Exist only in this moment. Round-by-round updates from the UFC 105 Spike TV broadcast are after the jump. Refresh the page every few minutes to see the latest, and please leave your thoughts in the comments section. Now, let us watch fights…


Mike Swick Proud Recipient of the Inaugural Dan Hardy ‘Runner-Up’ Trophy

(Like a kid on freaking Christmas. Photo courtesy of Combat Lifestyle’s UFC 105 press conference gallery.)

We can stop lamenting the lack of psychologically screwy antics from Dan Hardy, because "The Outlaw" kicked it up a notch during the UFC 105 press conference in Manchester.  Hardy showed up to present a "Runner-Up" trophy to Mike Swick in advance of their bout on Saturday and Swick, as you can see, was pretty excited about the whole thing.  But just when you think you’ve played a clever little joke on Swick, he turns it around on you:

"I want to thank Dan Hardy for this trophy.  It means a lot.  Coming runner-up in a press conference is pretty cool.  I just want everyone to know that I’m giving this right back to him after the fight.  My corner guys will carry it to the Octagon.  But I’ll keep it for now."

And just like that, the jokester becomes the fool.  If Marcus Davis and his indignant rage demonstrated the exact wrong way to deal with Hardy’s ribbing, Swick’s grinning reversal is probably the perfect blueprint for how to take Hardy’s jokes in stride.  Plus, how sweet is it going to be if Swick manages to knock Hardy out and then present him with that trophy when he comes to?  Answer: extremely sweet.  


Video: UFC 105 Extended Trailer

(Props: MMAVIDS09 via Bloody Elbow)

After the controversial ending to Machida vs. Rua, the UFC is looking to bounce back hard in their next event (November 14th; Manchester, England), which features three very compelling bouts on the main card. Headlining UFC 105 will be Randy Couture‘s return to the light-heavyweight division against Brandon Vera, who describes the match as "what we’ve been training for since day one." A win for Vera may finally establish his legitimacy at 205; a win for Couture staves off retirement for at least one more fight and puts him on the path to a title shot.

Supporting the main event will be Michael Bisping vs. Denis Kang. Bisping is looking to erase the memory of his knockout loss to Dan Henderson in July, while Kang wants to introduce himself to UFC fans in this fight (despite the fact that he’s already fought in the Octagon twice) and feels he can do everything better than the Count. Also, Mike Swick and Dan Hardy meet up in a classic U.S. vs. U.K. battle. Hardy has been training his boxing with Freddie Roach — could it be the advantage he needs to survive Quick’s onslaught?

The full UFC 105 lineup is after the jump…


Videos: MMA Fighters Shill for ‘Tekken 6′, Genki Sudo Goes Pop

Tekken 6 MMA Boxing Live Action Trailer – Watch more Game Trailers
(Props: Game Trailers)

Above is the live-action trailer for Tekken 6, which succeeds in being awesome despite the fact that the game itself is only briefly shown at the end. The gist is, fighters from all walks of life — Josh Barnett, Dan Hardy, and Evander Holyfield, among others — discuss what drew them to fighting and why they do it. I guess they’re supposed to represent the different styles and mindsets in the video game, though the montage fails to include boxing kangaroos or a sentient wooden training dummy. There is, however, a Tekken 6 character that’s clearly based on Roy Nelson.


Dan Hardy and Mike Swick On the Same Page Re: Beating Each Other’s Asses

Jon Fitch Mike Swick Dan Hardy Edith Labelle UFC
(What a difference five months makes. Now, Swick and Hardy are mortal enemies, Edith has been replaced by a blonde, and Jon Fitch is currently living in Seattle as "Joan Fitch." Photo courtesy of

In our exclusive interview with Mike Swick yesterday, Quick referred to Dan Hardy as a "good guy" and a "very genuine person," but still vowed to beat him up on November 14th. Luckily, Hardy feels the same way. Here’s his assessment of his next opponent from’s official announcement of the match:

“I like Mike, he’s a top bloke. We did a PR tour of Germany together earlier in the year and we got on very well. He’s a fun guy, good company and I really respect him for all the charity work he does with the Troops. It was funny, we kept joking that we were hanging out, playing X-Box, watching movies and stuff on this tour bus together in Germany for a week and yet would probably be fighting each other someday. That day is about five weeks away now, and I am sorry, Mike, but I’m still going to deliver one hell of a beating at UFC 105 — the kind of beating which will be very uncomfortable viewing for every other welterweight in the UFC. Mike’s been around for longer than I have in the UFC, but his best win is over Marcus Davis, like with me, but even though he got a unanimous decision I feel I beat Marcus worse than he did.”