by Ken Pishna – MMAWeekly.com
To the delight of a crowd full of his countrymen, Dan Hardy on Saturday night at UFC 105 defeated Mike Swick to earn a shot at the top 170-pound fighter in the world, UFC welterweight champion Georges St-Pierre.
It came down to the judges’ scorecards, but there wasn’t much doubt that Hardy had done enough to earn the nod. That held true with the disappointed expression on Swick’s face following the final bell.
Not that Hardy was able to just walk away with the fight.
“That was a tough fight. I can’t take anything away from Mike,” he said later.
Hardy did control the majority of the bout however. He used the well-documented power of his punches to clip Swick on several occasions, notably at the onset of all three rounds.
Swick wouldn’t go down though. Even when Hardy did follow through and attempt to put him away, the American Kickboxing Academy fighter held tough until he could regain his composure.
His corner pressing him between rounds, Swick managed a couple effective flurries in round three, but Hardy countered each time, staying one step ahead of Swick to the end.
“I did what I could England; I did what I could. I couldn’t put him away,” commented Hardy after the fight, adding that he was excited to earn the shot at St-Pierre.
It was an impressive performance by Hardy, but he’ll have to take his game up a notch to face the man that greeted him in the Octagon after the fight.
“Dan Hardy proved that he deserves the title (shot). I look forward to the challenge,” St-Pierre offered after shaking Hardy’s hand.