by Damon Martin – MMAWeekly.com
It’s no secret that there were some critics that questioned the placement of Dan Hardy as the No. 1 contender for Georges St-Pierre’s welterweight title coming up at UFC 111 in March. One person who agrees with that assessment is St-Pierre’s longtime training partner Nate Marquardt, who commented on the upcoming fight recently.

Speaking with MMAWeekly Radio before his own match-up against Chael Sonnen, Marquardt didn’t hold back when speaking about the brash British fighter.

“Some of the fans, hearing them talk and stuff, some of the fans are very passionate about Dan Hardy,” he said. “Georges is just on another level. I honestly don’t even think he deserves to be fighting Georges, but anyone, especially Dan Hardy, definitely has knockout power and Georges has to take that seriously.”

The skill set that St-Pierre possesses is undeniable, and Marquardt believes that the gap in talent between GSP and Hardy is vast.

“He’s so well rounded, and Dan Hardy’s definitely not,” the middleweight contender commented about St-Pierre and Hardy. “I think Georges could beat him in just a stand-up war, but when you throw everything else in there, Dan’s in some serious trouble.”

Marquardt understands the point of having new people fight St-Pierre, who has been nothing short of dominant, but he’s quick to pay a compliment to other top contenders in the division gunning for a rematch.

“I think guys like Koscheck, Fitch, or even Alves, those guys gave him a very tough fight, even though he dominated the whole fight, those guys are very tough,” Marquardt stated. “Any one of those guys could give him a great rematch.”

Regardless of who else might get a shot, Hardy is currently in line, but Marquardt has full confidence in his friend and training partner.

“I think it should be an easy fight for Georges.”