by Ken Pishna – MMAWeekly.com
(Photo by Mr. Will, courtesy of CageWarriors.com)

The Ultimate Fighting Championship on Tuesday announced the signing of British welterweight Dan Hardy.

He is a staple of the U.K. mixed martial arts scene, having fought the majority of his career for the Cage Warriors fight promotion. Hardy is currently the promotion’s welterweight champion. He also fought his way to the finals of Japan’s Cage Force welterweight tournament before losing to Yoshiyuki Yoshida via disqualification due to delivering an illegal kick to the groin.

Hardy is a member of Team Rough House, which is also the home of fellow British standouts Paul Daley and Andre Winner.

“The plan was always to fight in the UFC when I felt I was 100% ready. But there were things I felt, as a fighter, I needed to work on before I made my UFC debut,” Hardy said on CageWarriors.com. “I probably could have fought in the UFC before now, but I wanted to work on my skills, my BJJ and my wrestling. I have trained as a striker since I was six years old, but have really worked very hard on my ground game over the last four years, including working with Eddie Bravo out in the States, and I feel I’ve got one of the most well rounded games of any fighter in Europe.”

With an impressive 8-1 record in his last nine fights, including a TKO win over UFC veteran Chad Reiner, the multi-colored Mohawk sporting Brit enters one of the UFC’s most crowded divisions. Currently ruled by welterweight champion Georges St. Pierre, the division includes many of the top fighters in the world including Jon Fitch, Matt Hughes, Matt Serra, Thiago Alves, Diego Sanchez, Karo Parisyan, Josh Koscheck, and more.

No information has been forthcoming from the UFC or Hardy on when he will make his debut in the Octagon.