[UFC 111]: St-Pierre vs Hardy - countdown (27/03/2010) | Blog Megathai - K1, MMA, Boxe e Muay Thai a Bologna >

27 marzo 2010

[UFC 111]: St-Pierre vs Hardy - countdown (27/03/2010)

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Welterweight king Georges St. Pierre, dethroned once before by an astronomical underdog, stood nose-to-nose with Dan Hardy one final time on the eve of their scheduled five-round tilt. A pair of red eyes, colored by contact lenses, stared back at him.

St. Pierre checked in at 170 pounds for his title defense against Hardy (170) in the UFC 111 main event this Saturday at the Prudential Center in Newark, N.J. Seventeen of the 18 other fighters booked to compete -- co-headliners Frank Mir (265) and Shane Carwin (265) included -- also met their contracted weight requirements without incident at Friday’s official weigh-in. Rory Markham tipped the scales at 177 pounds and agreed to a catchweight bout with Nate Diaz.

UFC 111 “St. Pierre vs. Hardy”
Saturday, March 27
Prudential Center
Newark, N.J.

UFC Welterweight Championship
Georges St. Pierre (170) vs. Dan Hardy (170)

Interim UFC Heavyweight Championship
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)
Nate Diaz (171) vs. Rory Markham (177)
Ricardo Almeida (170) vs. Matt Brown (170)
Rousimar Palhares (186) vs. Tomasz Drwal (185)
Rodney Wallace (206) vs. Jared Hamman (205)
Matt Riddle (170) vs. Greg Soto (170)

Widely received as one of the top three pound-for-pound fighters in the world, St. Pierre has rattled off six consecutive victories since his stunning upset loss to Matt Serra at UFC 69 in April 2007. The 28-year-old French Canadian has not competed since he grinded through a unanimous five-round decision over Thiago Alves at UFC 100 eight months ago. Victories over UFC lightweight champion B.J. Penn, former welterweight titleholder Matt Hughes and one-time lightweight champion Sean Sherk anchor his resume, along with decisive wins over top contenders Jon Fitch and Josh Koscheck.

“I’m going to deliver the best performance of my career,” St. Pierre said. “I want to be the best of the best.”

Hardy has enjoyed a rapid ascent up the welterweight ladder. The 27-year-old, unbeaten in four trips inside the Octagon, secured his crack at St. Pierre with a unanimous decision nod over American Kickboxing Academy standout Mike Swick at UFC 105 in November. Hardy has won 12 of his past 13 fights, losing only to Yoshiyuki Yoshida by disqualification in that span. A potent stand-up fighter, he has delivered nearly half (11) of his 23 career victories by KO or TKO.

“It’s going to be explosive,” Hardy said. “I’m ready to go 25 minutes. I can’t wait.”

In the co-feature at UFC 111, Mir will square off with the unbeaten Carwin for the interim heavyweight crown.

Mir will carry plenty of momentum into the matchup. The 30-year-old former titleholder choked French striker Cheick Kongo unconscious at UFC 107 in December and has posted four wins in his past five fights. Submission victories against current UFC heavyweight king Brock Lesnar and former UFC heavyweight titleholder Tim Sylvia anchor his resume.

At 6-foot-4, 255 pounds, the hulking Carwin has finished all 11 of his opponents inside one round, including former title contender Gabriel Gonzaga. The 34-year-old Coloradan owns 22-, 29-, 31-, 44- and 49-second wins. Only one man has reached the second minute against him.

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