If Dan Hardy’s back is against the wall heading into his fight with Chris Lytle at UFC on Versus 5 this weekend, he’s certainly not acting like it.
The former welterweight title contender may be walking into the Bradley Center in Milwaukee facing the ominous position of a potential fourth loss in a row, but Hardy is approaching his fight with the same vigor he’s had for all of his past UFC bouts.
For Dan Hardy, fighting safe or fighting not to lose just isn’t how he’s built.
“I’m not in this sport, I never got into this sport to make money. This is something I’m doing cause I love doing it,” Hardy told MMAWeekly Radio. “I enjoy fighting and regardless whether I’m coming off one loss or 10 losses, I’m coming to fight. I’m coming to trade punches and see who’s the better man and that’s all I’m interested in.”
Going out on his shield is Hardy’s mentality heading into every fight and anything less would be a version of himself that he never wants to see.
“The thing that’s got me to this point is I love a fight and if I change that then I’m kind of selling myself out,” said Hardy.
Motivated by a good fight is why Hardy asked the UFC for the chance to do battle with veteran fighter Chris Lytle, who he faces Sunday night at UFC on Versus 5.
Both Hardy and Lytle have the attitude that you put 110-percent effort into every fight and leave everything in the cage.
While Hardy has had his fair share of trash talk exchanged with several past opponents, none of that is necessary with Lytle. Hardy is not only respectful about his upcoming opponent, but it’s easy to say he’s even a fan of the Indianapolis firefighter turned fighter.
The only thing that might get Hardy and Lytle a little crossed before their bout on Sunday would be to bring up politics, then the hornet’s nest might get stirred a little.
“It’s kind of funny cause he’s getting into politics being a Republican, and I’m dead against politicians being an anarchist, so it’s kind of an interesting fight. It’s got a political undertone to it,” Hardy stated alluding to Lytle’s recent announcement that he plans on pursuing a life in politics in the future.
Beyond the political misgivings that Hardy might have against Lytle, outside of that he truly respects him as they head into their fight. Sure, Hardy is happy to talk trash and exchange verbal barbs when it’s necessary, but it’s not something he’s going to force just to spice things up between him and Lytle.
“I’ve got nothing against Chris. There are guys out there that I do genuinely enjoy putting a beating on, and I will look forward to putting a beating on them, but there are some guys I just enjoy getting in there and fighting because they’re good fighters and I want to test myself,” said Hardy. “Chris is one of those guys.”
Even if he is determined to continue to fight his own fight, Hardy won’t ignore the importance of the upcoming bout. Four straight losses would all but seal his fate with the UFC and likely see Hardy get a pink slip.
Still, the British banger isn’t looking at this fight as win or go home. He’s simply looking at it as a challenge, and one he intends to conquer.
“In my opinion, it’s time for me to get my career back on track and for him to maybe take a more political role in his life. That’s his decision. I’ve got 15 minutes to convince him maybe it’s time he hangs up his gloves and do something else,” Hardy commented, although Lytle beat him to the punch on that count, announcing on Saturday that the fight with Hardy would be his last.
“I’m going to knock the Republican out of him, that’s my plan.”
Dan Hardy meets Chris Lytle in the main event of UFC on Versus 5 Sunday night in Milwaukee.
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