UFC welterweight fighter Dan Hardy is currently precariously close to being cut from the UFC after losing his last four fights in a row.
For many fighters that kind of record would result in an automatic release from the roster, but Hardy’s persona and eagerness to put on entertaining scraps has given him a precious lifeline and he’s going to attempt to use it wisely.
He’s spent the past four months working hard to shore up his wrestling deficiencies, even travelling to Canada to train with one-time rival Georges St.Pierre at one point.
Now he’s starting to plot his return to the Octagon and he’s now set his sights on a former divisional champion for his next fight.
“I’ve mentioned Matt Hughes to Lorenzo [Fertitta],” Hardy says in a new interview with ESPN.co.uk. “He’s been on a rough streak as well recently, he’ll look at me and see I’ve lost four fights and think he can outwrestle me.
Hardy also reveals that his motives for calling him out aren’t purely based on their respective fighting styles.
“I also genuinely don’t like him. I need a fight to get up for and I’d take great pleasure in smashing him in the face. I won’t talk about why I don’t like him, it’s some knowledge I have about him away from the sport. Even students around where he lives bet against him.”
According to Hardy UFC CEO Lorenzo Fertitta, who championed the UK fighters stay of execution in the UFC after his last loss to Chris Lytle in August, “would love to see it,” but that doesn’t mean it’s a done deal.
Hughes has now suffered two first round KO losses in a row and so it’s easy to see why Hardy has targeted him, but it maybe that the 38 year-old hall-of-famer has fought for the last time.
Following Hughes knockout loss to Josh Koscheck in September UFC president Dana White stated that he “was almost 100% certain” that the former champion was now going to hang up his gloves.
Being called out by the outspoken Brit may just be enough to tempt the veteran fighter back for one last roll of the dice though.