(If only our last day at the office could be this satisfying. Also, what’s up with the little bunny on Dan’s shorts? Photo courtesy of UFC.com)
After Dan Hardy tapped to a Chris Lytle guillotine choke last night at UFC on Versus 5 — Hardy’s fourth consecutive loss within the Octagon — many fans assumed that the Outlaw would be released by the UFC to get a couple of tune-up wins somewhere else. But Hardy doesn’t have to start updating his resume just yet. UFC co-owner Lorenzo Fertitta confirmed via Twitter that Hardy won’t be cut. His reasoning: “I like guys that WAR!!!”
That’s great news for the former welterweight title contender. The question is, does Hardy even want another chance? Winless since 2009, Hardy appears to be in no rush to get back on the horse. As he told MMA Junkie:
“I think if they are going to give me one more fight, then I really need to take some time and come back reinvented…There are a lot of things I can do. But right now, I need space from competing, and I need space in the gym getting beaten up by much better guys in every area. I’ll either improve or find another way. If I’ve got one more fight, then I’ll take one more fight. But maybe it won’t be for a little while…”
“I think I had the quickest rise and the quickest fall the UFC’s ever seen – four fights up, four fights down. But there were improvements to make. I know that. I just don’t think between fights I’ve really had the time to invest in working on those particular things. I know I’ve got it in me to learn them…”
“I think my head’s elsewhere to be honest. I’m going to step back a little bit and take some time — just enjoy being in the gym for a little while and see where the future takes me…I’ll see where my life takes me after a couple of days off. I think I just need to really dedicate the time to it and either come back in a blaze of glory and make a run for the belt or do something else. I’m not sure yet.”
Coincidentally, Lytle’s farewell win over Hardy brought both of their UFC records to the .500 mark. Of course, Lytle’s story couldn’t be more different than Hardy’s, as he now leaves the sport with an impressive victory, and joins the very short list of fighters who went out on top. Making the moment even sweeter is the $130,000 in bonus money that Lights Out made for his efforts. $65,000 performance bonuses for UFC on Versus 5 were distributed to the following fighters…
Fight of the Night: Chris Lytle and Dan Hardy for their main event slugfest, which lived up to its billing and then some.
Knockout of the Night: Donald Cerrone, for his first-round mollywopping of Charles Oliveira.
Chris Lytle’s two final UFC bonuses once again make him the most bonus-worthy fighter in UFC history, with 10 overall bonuses and a whopping $515,000 in career bonus money. Oh yeah, and he also won a 2012 Harley-Davidson Blackline for defeating Hardy. Beats the hell out of gold watch, doesn’t it?