After a convincing five round loss to Georges St.Pierre and a confidence crushing KO loss to Carlos Condit you could be forgiven for thinking that the UFC might want to give UK star Dan Hardy an easier fight next time out.

It appears that’s not the case though as he’s now believed to have verbally agreed to face heavy-hitter Anthony Johnson at UFC Fight Night 24 in March of next year, which is currently headlined by Tito Ortiz Vs Antonio Rogerio Nogueira.

‘Rumble’, who is coming off a submission loss to Josh Koscheck, is undoubtedly one of the heaviest hitters in the 170lb weight class, producing four clean knockouts and one TKO in his five wins inside the octagon to date – a record few can match.

It’s possible Johnson will be facing a battle with his weight before he ever steps into the octagon to face Hardy though. The 26 year-old has failed to make the 171lb welterweight limit on several occasions during his time in the UFC, particularly when hes’ ballooned to well over 200lbs due to long spells out through injuries.

Unfortunately for him by the time he fights on March 26th it’ll have been 16 months since he faced koscheck at UFC 106, and his weight is believed to have skyrocketed again during that time. If for any reason he’s unable to make the cut back down then this would surely be the last time he’d be allowed to fight in that division.

Hardy has always been confident in his stand-up skills, but against a big, hard-hitting striker like Johnson it’ll be interested to see if he digs deeper into his back of tricks and perhaps looks to exploit weaknesses in his opponent’s ground game instead.

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Ross launched MMA Insight (previously in 2009 as a way to channel his passion for the sport of mixed martial arts. He's since penned countless news stories and live fight reports along with dozens of feature articles as the lead writer for the site, reaching millions of fans in the process.