Dan Hardy Wants Fight with Matt Brown, Not 'Annoying Kid' Matthew Riddle

Kyle SymesCorrespondent IIIDecember 14, 2012

May 26, 2012; Las Vegas, NV, USA;  Dan Hardy walks out of the ring after his fight against Duane Ludwig during the UFC 146 at the MGM Grand Garden event center. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports
Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

Dan Hardy has become a popular guy in 2012. Already well-known to UFC fans for his brash personality, Hardy is now becoming popular with his MMA colleagues.

Following a recent Q&A session, Hardy stated who he'd like to face in his next Octagon appearance. MMA Junkie has the details:

"I've been very impressed with him as of late," Hardy said. "He had a good run in 2012. Me and 'The Immortal' – we'll test that theory."

"The Immortal," of course, refers to Matt "The Immortal" Brown, who recently called Hardy out on Twitter, via MMA Junkie.

"The Immortal" vs. "The Outlaw?" Brown wrote earlier this week. "Apparently this is the fight the fans want. You down for Japan."

Hardy said no to competing in front of his countrymen for the UFC on Fuel TV 7 event in order to spend time with his family but had no issues with competing in March at the Saitama Super Arena in Japan against Brown.

However, Brown isn't the only fighter to call out "The Outlaw." Longtime UFC welterweight Matthew Riddle called out Hardy following his win in July. The win was overturned to a no-contest due to Riddle's failed drug test for marijuana.

Despite Riddle competing in the UFC his entire pro career and having not lost since September 2011, Hardy has no interest in facing Riddle and explained why in the same piece.

"He's just a big, loud, annoying kid. And the problem is if I'm training for somebody, I'm spending three months dedicated to that person, and that would be three months of my life I wouldn't enjoy."

Hardy explains that the lack of interest comes from when Riddle spent some time working with Brazilian jiu-jitsu coach and MMA fighter, Robert Drysdale.

"I saw him at the gym. He showed up at Robert Drysdale's, which is where I train in Las Vegas a lot of the time. And he said, 'Look, if you want to go, I've got a piece for you.' And he was like, 'I'm just trying to make a name for myself.' And then he called me out again, so I'm going to hit him with a bar of soap and a sock or something."

"The Outlaw" even offered a solution to the matchup situation when he suggested that Brian Ebersole (who was in attendance) step up to fight Riddle. Ebersole responded with, "I'll take him off your hands."

"There we go," Hardy said. "Brian's going to babysit for me while I deal with Matt Brown."

Hardy has won back-to-back fights, which quickly erased an ugly 0-4 skid that, if not for the backing of UFC president Dana White, very easily could've forced Hardy to seek new employment.

Brown himself is also enjoying a bit of a career renaissance after knocking out Mike Swick in impressive fashion at the UFC on Fox 5 event. It was Brown's fourth straight win inside the Octagon.