by Ken Pishna – MMAWeekly.com
As the Ultimate Fighting Championship waits on New York to sanction mixed martial arts, the promotion returns to New Jersey on Saturday night at the Prudential Center in Newark for UFC 111: St-Pierre vs. Hardy.
St-Pierre is riding a six-fight winning streak coming into the bout. He hasn’t lost since being knocked out in a shocker to Matt Serra, who trained with Dan Hardy for this fight. St-Pierre weighed in Thursday at 170 pounds.
Never one for a lot of words, St-Pierre was, for him, a little bit outspoken after he weighed in.
“I don’t care about the statistic; I don’t care about nothing. Just to see the people here it pump me up so much for the fight. I’m going to deliver the best performance of my career. I’m ready for him,” he stated.
“I want to be the best of the best. And Now I’m fighting the best guy, the number one guy, the most dangerous one, and I’m ready. I want to take him out.”
Hardy comes into this bout with little pressure, as most pundits don’t expect him to be able to handle St-Pierre varied arsenal. He knows what is expected, but plans on unleashing a striking assault on the champ that nobody else has been able to. Hardy tipped the scales on Friday, wearing an “I hate Dan Hardy” t-shirt, also at 170 pounds.
“I’m just so excited to be here,” Hardy after stepping off the scale, bouncing around like the Energizer Bunny. “It’s gonna be explosive; it’s gonna be a war. I’m ready to go 25-minutes, and I can’t wait.”
The co-main event features Frank Mir and Shane Carwin vying for the interim heavyweight strap, but both know it is little more than a reservation to face current UFC heavyweight champion Brock Lesnar in July.
Mir has bulked up for his last couple of fights and weighed in Friday at 265 pounds, the heavyweight limit, as did Carwin.
The only hiccup in the weigh-ins was a welterweight contest between Nate Diaz and Rory Markham that is slated to headline Spike TV’s live telecast of two preliminary bouts, leading up to the pay-per-view. Diaz easily made the move up from lightweight to 171 pounds for the fight, but Markham had trouble making the cut and stepped on the scale at 177 pounds, well over the 170-pound limit.
Markham, however, knew prior to the weigh-in that he wouldn’t make the weight, so he and Diaz agreed before hand to a catchweight of 177 pounds, according to UFC officials. He was still fined an undisclosed amount by the New Jersey Athletic Control Board.
Main Bouts (On Pay-Per-View):
-Georges St-Pierre (170) vs. Dan Hardy (170)
-Frank Mir (265) vs. Shane Carwin (265)
-Kurt Pellegrino (155) vs. Fabricio Camoes (155)
-Jon Fitch (171) vs. Ben Saunders (169)
-Jim Miller (155) vs. Mark Bocek (154)
Preliminary Bouts (Televised on Spike TV):
-Nate Diaz (171) vs. Rory Markham (177)
-Ricardo Almeida (170) vs. Matt Brown (170)
Preliminary Bouts (Non-Televsied):
-Tomasz Drwal (185) vs. Rousimar Palhares (186)
-Jared Hamman (205) vs. Rodney Wallace (206)
-Greg Soto (171) vs. Matt Riddle (170)