UFC 146: Why a Dan Hardy Loss Will Spell the End of His UFC Career

Rob TatumContributor IMay 22, 2012

NEW YORK - MARCH 24:  Dan Hardy of Nottingham, UK  speaks at a press conference for UFC 111 at Radio City Music Hall on March 24, 2010 in New York City.  Hardy will face Georges St-Pierre of Montreal, Quebec, Canada in the Welterweight title bout.  (Photo by Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images)
Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images

November 14, 2009. That's the last time British welterweight Dan Hardy tasted victory inside the Octagon.

His current four-fight losing streak would have cost most fighters their jobs with the promotion.

However, because two of those losses were against the current and interim champions in the division—Georges St-Pierre and Carlos Condit, respectively—Hardy has been given a pass thus far.

After starting his UFC career 4-0, Hardy was quickly made the poster boy for British MMA fans.

That fast start vaulted him to a title shot at UFC 111. Although Hardy gained numerous fans by surviving multiple submission attempts against the aforementioned St-Pierre, the Nottingham native has been unable to find the win column ever since.

Certainly Hardy is endeared to both the promotion and fans for his enigmatic personality and willingness to stand and trade with anyone. But even a fighter in the good graces of the promotion can't avoid the chopping block forever without a win.

A fifth consecutive loss is practically unheard of in the UFC. Even veteran fighters on the tail end of their careers such as Chuck Liddell and Tito Ortiz avoided such a disastrous stretch.

At UFC 146 on May 26, Hardy will face one of the most technical stand-up fighters in the division in Duane "Bang" Ludwig. Without a doubt, this is Hardy's last stand.

Although his last performance against Chris Lytle earned "Fight of the Night" honors, the promotion has to draw the line somewhere. Allowing any fighter—regardless of their name, popularity or credentials—to continue under contract after so many losses would set a bad precedent for the future.

In fact, Hardy should consider himself lucky.

Many fighters have been cut after just one or two defeats, and three has almost always been the point where a fighter is handed their walking papers.

If the "Outlaw" doesn't find a way to overcome Ludwig on the 26th, he'll certainly find himself looking for new employment after he exits the Octagon.

Rob Tatum is a featured columnist for Bleacher Report MMA. You can also find Rob's work at The MMA Corner. For anything related to MMA, follow him on Twitter.