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« | Home | »

I’m not buying the Dan Hardy koolaid UFC is selling me

By Zach Arnold | March 18, 2010

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I didn’t last week after watching the first UFC hype show on Spike TV to promote Georges St. Pierre vs. Dan Hardy for the Welterweight belt on 3/27 in New Jersey, and I sure didn’t after watching last night’s hype special.

Do not get me wrong – I am very interested in the March 27th show and will be watching. My enthusiasm for the event has not dwindled one bit and I don’t think it has for anyone else, either. That said, if there wasn’t a Frank Mir vs. Shane Carwin semi-main event match, I’m not sure how into the show I would really be.

Yes, I know Dan Hardy (+500 or more) is only half the underdog that Matt Serra (+1100) was going into their respective fights against St. Pierre (-700 versus Hardy), but I’ve yet to see anything on the hype specials or any argument online that can convince me that Hardy even has a puncher’s chance. If the purpose of the Spike hype specials is to convince you that Hardy has a puncher’s chance in the fight, then I think UFC has failed in accomplishing that.

So why are the ratings so good for the GSP hype specials on Spike TV? Because the man is the #2 ace in the company (behind Brock Lesnar) and unlike some other accomplished MMA fighters, people really love and respect the man. Sometimes fans take a legendary fighter for granted, but not with St. Pierre. He’s super-popular with both men and women and watching one of his fights is an “event” — not in the sense of a “Mike Tyson is going to destroy this guy” kind of feeling, but more of a feeling that “this man is a superstar and we have to watch him no matter what.”

I’m more interested in Mir (-150) vs. Carwin (+110) because it will have big implications for the heavyweight division, but it doesn’t mean that I won’t enjoy watching St. Pierre just pummel another man into oblivion. I’m just not sure if UFC has been able to convince anyone that Hardy is a real threat, yet.

Exit question: Thiago Alves is the favorite going into his fight against Jon Fitch. If Fitch loses, does he get demoted permanently to undercard status like Yushin Okami?

Topics: All Topics, Media, MMA, UFC, Zach Arnold | 36 Comments » | Permalink | Trackback |

36 Responses to “I’m not buying the Dan Hardy koolaid UFC is selling me”

  1. 45 Huddle says:

    I’m enjoying the Hardy trash talk. He has no shot at beating GSP. This is a guy who barely got past Gono, Swick, and David.

    The loser of Fitch vs. Alves should move to Middleweight.

  2. Alan Conceicao says:

    The general reaction I get from reading blogs and news sites is that MMA journos have made it their job to effectively promote this event. Not sure what that’s about, but very few are willing to go out and say “This is not a terribly competitive main event”.

    UFC Primetime did a decent rating for the first episode(marginally better than what TNA produces, less than the average Ultimate Fighter) but I’m not sure what it really means so far as buzz goes. The storyline about UFC 111 doesn’t seem to be about the main event at all; if its about a fight, its about the Interim Title (lol how WBC is that) Heavyweight bout. More often than not, all the discussion online is about how much business it will do. Kinda weird.

    • Mark says:

      Because Dana has them whipped. Notice how lowkey the UFC criticism got after the Jake Rossen tonguelashing.

      I don’t doubt this will do very well, but if you had GSP vs. the Brit Can as the only big fight on the show it would without question be GSP’s lowest drawing PPV by far.

      I’m really tired of everybody getting all excited about “WOW UFC IS SELLING THIS SO WELL WITH THE TRASH TALKER VERSUS THE RESPECTFUL CLASS ACT!” Trash talking only sells when there is a belief the fight could go either way. Hardy’s family wouldn’t even put money on the fight. Even if Hardy had some familiarity with the fans this would be much more convincing. But most people didn’t even know who he was before he was named #1 contender so unless you’re British you have zero connection to him. If a big chunk of the internet has no love for him I cannot imagine how little the casuals care about the guy.

  3. Jason says:

    Everybody says Hardy hits so hard and granted so do alot of other fighters that St. Pierre has fought and beat. But out of the four fights Dan has had in the UFC, only one was a TKO/KO and that was Rory Markhem. He barely beat Marcus Davis and Gono (split decisions) and decisioned Mike Swick as well. So I’m not sure where all this hype is coming from with regards to him being such a devastating striker. Alves was and is a much better striker (and faster) with his hands and his feet.

    • Alan Conceicao says:

      The UFC has learned that by repeating anything over and over, it becomes truth.

    • Oh Yeah says:

      GSP hasn’t faced many huge strikers in a division full of grapplers.

      Thiago’s problem was not that he doesn’t hit hard, but his lack of reach didn’t allow him to hit cleanly vs. GSP who was very quick in and out. Also, Thiago’s plodding combined with his lack of reach meant that GSP could control the distance enough to shoot in at will. Hardy’s got more reach and more varied boxing which gives him a better chance of touching GSP’s chin, but I doubt he has the ability/gas to repeatedly power his way back up to a standing position.

      This isn’t exactly a ringing endorsement of Hardy, but it’s worth noting that he has more of a chance of winning this 5 round bout than the #2 ranked Fitch.

      • edub says:

        Agreed completely.

        Hardy hits very hard, and GSP has been known to not have the best chin. This fight is a lot closer than the Pacman vs. Clottey dribble that was on last week.

        Exit question (A): If Fitch loses I don’t think he’ll be given a credible(top 15) opponent for another year. Also if Fitch winsI think the pressure from dana will be higher than ever to get Koscheck matched up with Fitch in a number 1 contender match.

  4. Mr.Roadblock says:

    You’re exactly right, Zach. There’s no reason to buy into Hardy having anything more than a punchers chance.

    This is the point I made to Allan, that he shouted me down on last week. GSP is an attraction. People pay to watch him fight anyone. Just like people used to pay to see Hogan and Tyson vs broom handles. The aura around all three is different. But the idea is that people don’t want to miss any of the events in that star’s reign at the top.

  5. wildgoat says:

    Thiago Alves is the favorite going into his fight against Jon Fitch. If Fitch loses, does he get demoted permanently to undercard status like Yushin Okami?

    If Fitch loses he should be sent packing. He refuses to fight any of his aka boyfriends. Strikeforce could give him a few good fights.

  6. Claude says:

    Thiago Alves is the favorite going into his fight against Jon Fitch. If Fitch loses, does he get demoted permanently to undercard status like Yushin Okami?

    If Fitch loses he should be sent packing. He refuses to fight the top guys in the division (AKA Boys)Strikeforce could give him a few interesting fights

  7. karat3 says:

    I wasn’t that impressed with the first primetime series for the penn gsp fight, this one is not really that good either. Maby it’s just the individuals involved who are not that interesting. The show also has a scripted feel to it wich 24/7 never had.

    Im thinking carwin at +150 is a decent bet, anyone know what the line opened at?

  8. David M says:

    I like Dan Hardy. He is undefeated in the UFC, has outstruck 2 of the better strikers in the 170 division, has very nice hands, is tough and rugged, and has a good beard. He is as much of a test for GSP as anyone else at 170. Dweebs want to see Jon Fitch fight GSP again because he is incredibly unexciting, Dana temporarily dropped him for not agreeing to the videogame deal, and he lays and prays better than anyone. When people are paying for the product, however, the promoter has to put on fights that will actually be exciting and interesting, and while it would be great to see GSP beat Fitch senseless again, there is just no interest. The only interesting fights left for GSP at 170 are Hardy, Paolo Thiago, BJ Penn if GSP doesn’t cheat again, and Anthony Johnson, just because of how big he is. Fitch, Koscheck, Thiago Alves, etc are not compelling matchups because none of them has a shot in hell of beating GSP based on how badly they got tooled the first time. Hardy, while a heavy underdog, has a puncher’s chance, is always exciting, and is very game. I am looking forward to the fight.

  9. 45 Huddle says:

    Jake Shields would be a good fight for GSP, as long as he doesn’t get KO’d against Henderson and lose his chances of getting into the UFC.

  10. 45 Huddle says:

    Fedor Emelianenko vs. Hidehiko Yoshida is the word on the street.

    Fedor should lose his #1 ranking if this is the case. The guy is flat out ducking top competition when he has a contract with Strikeforce and could be fighting at least Werdum.

    • Zheroen says:

      Oh noes, the Internet will collapse if random website unofficial rankings continue to rank the most skilled and accomplished MMA fighter in history with the number one spot if he fights a popular bum in his home country as a favor to someone in a fight that will draw a lot of money!!!!

      • David M says:

        lol, well played Zheroen…that being said, I agree it is sad from a fan’s perspective for Fedor to avoid Strikeforce (though I don’t blame the man for making as much money as he can), but it is Strikeforce’s fault for signing him to a contract that allows him to fight in other organizations. They knew the risk they were taking when they signed him.

      • Alan Conceicao says:

        LOL, truth. About a year ago he fought the #2/3 guy in most of those consensus rankings and then fought another top 10 fighter, what, 6 months ago? And this theorized fight should drive him out of the top spot for a guy who has fought once in 16 months? Proof positive the internet fanbase is retarded.

    • Zack says:

      Right…and replace him with who? A 4-1 guy who hasn’t fought since last July and has no fight scheduled as of today?

      • Bryan says:

        I knew 45 would comment on this. Oh well.

      • 45 Huddle says:

        And that 4-1 guy is the consensus #2 ranked fighter in the world.

        It is laughable that anybody would even remotely defend this fight with Yoshida in any way possible. There is literally zero defense to it, especially when there is so many guys in the division he has not competing against and it seems like he has little care to.

        • Alan Conceicao says:

          Fedor will still have beaten a top 10 fighter in more recent history than Lesnar if he does take the fight.

        • David M says:

          What is this “defend” fetish you have? Fedor has a right to make as much money as he can; do you really think anyone in the UFC would turn down the money Fedor is about to get because teh internet fanbois would be critical?

    • klown says:

      A spokesperson from M-1 has derided this rumor as a “joke”.

    • Claude says:

      I thought the topic was about Hardy, GSP, and Fitch, why do you insist on switching to a Feodor topic? Your right about Feodor,now comment about the topic on hand.

  11. GSP is UFC’s equivalent to John Cena. While Hardy unfortunately won’t stand a cat’s chance in hell, how cool would it be to see GSP go to sleep once again?

  12. Brad Wharton says:

    As others have mentioned, GSP has reached ‘event-level’ status with his fights now. Despite the fact that few people ‘in the know’ feel that he has much of a chance of losing, there is always the x-actor of his chin.

    GSP might have a great chin, the Serra thing could have been a total fluke. But it’s a unique selling point for future fights; if Matt Serra could hit the button, why can’t Hardy, Alves, Fitch, Daley, Kampman, Swick, Thiago, etc, etc.

    The other selling point obviously is that Hardy is another cocky Brit for the North American fanbase to boo. In reality it couldn’t be further from the truth; off-camera Dan is a polite, well-spoken, well-read and intelligent guy who loves the Ninja Turtles cartoon. The red Mohawk is a nod to Raphael. Still, he’s happy to play the mouthy punk to GSP’s consummate sportsman, which seems to be getting the casuals nice and riled up.

    I’m a Brit, I like Dan, so of course I want him to win. Do I think this is going to be a competitive match-up on paper? Not really. Am I curious to see if Hardy can make history repeat itself and ‘Matt Serra’ GSP? Absolutely. I’m betting that there are about 700,000 others who’ll agree with me.

    To the people shitting all over this card, I ask you this…who else at 170 would you rather take Hardy’s place? The UFC say that they forget about ‘rankings’ in favour of putting on fights that the masses want to see…I can’t think of anyone right now that is a fresher, more interesting opponent for GSP at 170.

    Some people need to get off their high-horse and just enjoy some fights for once. Either that or go and find another sport to whinge about.

  13. Mike says:

    I’m not sure why anyone needs to feel they’re “buying into something” to want to watch it.

  14. Mark says:

    The difference this time is this is the first time GSP is fighting someone nobody is giving a chance to beat him. He has nothing. Penn and Serra had superior BJJ, Hughes was stronger, Alves was bigger and a better striker, Fitch and Koscheck on paper were the better grapplers. And Dan Hardy is? I guess a guy who hits so hard he only has one notable KO to his credit? Wow. Also note he does not have the reach advantage. GSP is 76, Hardy is 74.

    Tyson was an attraction but if you look back at his buyrates there was a freakin’ huge difference between what the Michael Spinks fight got and what Frank Bruno got. He did have a few crappy fights that drew big, but those were under special circumstances (the one against McNeely which was his return fight and the one against Holmes which sold as a freakshow.)

  15. edub says:

    LoL at people defending Fedor. If he fights Yoshida it’ll be a sad day in mma.

  16. kutti says:

    finally its happening: rashad vs rampage..ufc 114.

  17. Zheroen says:

    I think one element of the whole “GSP’s chin was rattled once before by Serra” argument cheerleading Dan Hardy as a viable threat that has been overlooked by most is the fact that Serra didn’t even tag GSP on his chin, but rather landed an extremely hard, unorthodox looping hook to the temple/above the ear that fucked GSP’s equilibrium up. That doesn’t take anything away from Serra’s accomplishment by any means, but I don’t think it should be used as evidence of GSP having a glass jaw or anything. And as so many have stated before, Hardy hasn’t shown any evidence of being able to knock out the upper levels of competition.

  18. graham cooke says:

    Yet to see an argument online that can convince you that Hardy has more than a “punchers chance” against GSP??? Have a read of someones opinion who has followed Hardy’s career long before he ever hit the UFC:

  19. pierre larouche says:

    Dan Hardy is not the problem, he is the symptom of the same problem.
    We went through this same thing when they tried to convince us that Patrick Cote, Thales Leites, Chris Leben and so many others were actually legitimate title contenders. Heck, we could do a whole segment on bringing back the old farts like Coleman and Filipovic because their name recognition far, far outweights what they can do in the ring.
    Were supposed to overlook the tasteless TUF (which introduces MMA to america), the Kimbos and Toney’s and just accept it for the media whoring that it is. You know, the way we accept that the japanese have to bring in the mainstream audience with sideshows like Sapp or some giants.
    Heck, we listened for quite a few years there when Timmeh was fighting for 8 title fights and Arlovski and Ricco were champions how good the UFC big boys were… that was some wicked kool-aid they were dishing.

    Trying to market Hardy as one of the best fighters of his weight class is nothing more than the usual myth creation.

  20. GSP_H8TER says:

    GSP is going down and i cant wait to see the look on everyones faces. He is the current raining champ but its cause he is the most well rounded, he is not the best. hes never even knocked anyone can he have so many fans. i don’t get it. and hes such a pus when he gets hit. U cant win EVERY fight with takedowns..sooner or later he will get tagged.


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