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

26 marzo 2010

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

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Georges St. Pierre vs. Dan Hardy

The Breakdown: After snuffing out the title aspirations of everyone from Thiago Alves to Jon Fitch, incumbent monarch Georges St. Pierre is starting to make the wildly competitive welterweight landscape look more like a post-apocalyptic dystopia. Perhaps then no one is as qualified to take him on as Dan Hardy, a pinpoint kill-shot artist who looks like he just stepped off the set of “Mad Max.”

Escaping the fate of past challengers is a relatively straightforward proposition for Hardy: He must find a way to stuff the light speed takedowns of St. Pierre. While Hardy certainly exceeded expectations by shutting down Mike Swick’s wrestling in their bout at UFC 105, St. Pierre exists in a different dimension wrestling-wise than the rest of the division.

Considering the guard game has never been a pillar of Hardy’s style, he’s going to have to rely on maximizing whatever time he gets on the feet. Expecting the Canadian quicksilver to simply oblige his desire for a kickboxing match is dicey at best, and Hardy just doesn’t have the caliber of takedown defense to thwart a mat battle.

On the mat St. Pierre has shown solid, accurate ground-and-pound as well as vastly underrated grappling acumen. Meanwhile Hardy struggled with the takedowns and grappling of Marcus Davis, a converted boxer, at UFC 99. Struggling with Davis, a solid gatekeeper, is about as good an omen of success for Hardy as a murder of crows falling dead from the sky every time he starts training.

Even assuming success on the feet for Hardy severely underestimates St. Pierre’s ability, as he has more than held his own standing with the likes of leg kick connoisseur Thiago Alves and the oil slick boxing of B.J. Penn. Much like St. Pierre’s past challengers, Hardy should feel proud that he earned a title shot and be ready to understand why “Rush” is one of the greatest fighters this generation has ever seen.

The Bottom Line: Hardy is going to be an entertaining presence in the welterweight division for a long time. A potential bout with his equally truculent rival Josh Koscheck down the road would make for one of the most epic displays of pre-fight vitriol in modern times. With that said, St. Pierre is like refined King Cobra venom to one-dimensional strikers like Hardy.

It would be far from unbelievable if Hardy starched St. Pierre, though. Opponents suicidal enough to throw down with Hardy are putting their short-term health at risk. However, St. Pierre is becoming a more and more cerebral athlete, which is a terrifying trend for both Hardy and anyone else banking on goading St. Pierre into a low-rent brawl. A dominating performance for St. Pierre reaches its inevitable conclusion with an overdue tapout from Hardy in the third round.

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