If you walk up to anyone who is a fan of MMA and say the name Georges St. Pierre or just GSP, they will know who you're refering to as soon as the name passes your lips.
Now, go up to another fan and say the name Dan Hardy, and you would have not too long ago recieved some puzzled looks. Who is Dan Hardy?
Before his entrance into the UFC and his crushing defeat of Rory Markham, Hardy was only well known in the UK and by hardcore MMA fans. Now Dan Hardy is probably one of the most recognizable faces in the UFC and MMA.
Georges St. Pierre burst on to the UFC scene with a dominating performance over Karo Parisyan and won by unanimous decision. He then went on to defeat Jay Hieron in one minute and forty five seconds.
After his defeat of Hieron, GSP was given his title shot against then champoin Matt Hughes. Unfortunately for GSP, Hughes sunk in the armbar in the last seconds of the first round, forcing GSP to tap out at the 4:59 mark.
GSP would go on to defeat Jason Miller, Frank Trigg, Sean Sherk, and BJ Penn before he got another shot at the title against Hughes.
When they faced off at UFC 65, GSP walked through Hughes and won by technical knockout in the second round.
Unfortunately for GSP, he would lose the belt to Matt Serra in his next fight.
Going into the fight, GSP had reportedly been having many personal problems in his life that may have caused him to be less prepared mentally then he would have been on any other occassion.
A few fights later, GSP won the title back from Serra in devastating fashion in his home town. Since then, GSP has torn through two very tough opponents in a rematch with BJ Penn and then a great fight against Thiago Alves. St. Pierre remains the UFC Welterweight Champion.
Dan Hardy lost his first MMA fight. A fight against Lee Doski. He won his next two fights, one against Paul Jenkins and another against Andy Melia.
If you look at his record in realistic terms, Hardy's first real test came when he faced Yoshiyuki Yoshida. He lost the fight by disqualification, before going on to win his next seven fights, which included a very controversial decision win against Marcus Davis.
Hardy followed that with a dominating performance over Mike Swick. The victory over Swick earned Hardy a shot at the Welterweight title.
Anyone who has seen both of these men fight would probably jump to the concluson that GSP is going to have his way with Hardy.
I am one of these people.
Hardy is, without a doubt, an incredibly skilled fighter. You don't amass a 23-6-1 record without being good at what you do. But does he have the skills yet to defeat a fighter and athlete as skilled and technically sound as GSP? No way. Not yet.
On the ground, it wouldn't even be a fight. GSP's wrestling and Brazilian Jiu Jitsu would neutralize anything that Hardy would throw at him. GSP would use his wrestling to control Hardy on the ground and his Jiu Jitsu to go for submissions. Or GSP could use his wrestling to simply mount Hardy and ground 'n pound his way to a victory.
One of the biggest problems in the fight for Hardy will be avoiding GSP''s takedowns, of which 87 percent are successful. That is an incredible for someone who didn't begin wrestling until he started training in MMA. So on the ground, Hardy has little to no chance of winning.
On foot is a different story. There is always the chance that Hardy could land another beautiful left hook and knock out GSP, just like he did against Rory Markham. But what are the chances that Hardy will even get the chance to land that left hook? Very unlikely.
GSP has some of the best defense in all of MMA and he has even better offense to go along with it. GSP's stand up fighting is by far some of the best in the game. Each punch is thrown with perfect form, with the exception of some that are thrown in flurries.
Even with all of his work with reknowed boxing trainer Freddy Roachr, Hardy is still too much of an arm puncher. He only throws his arms behind shots and doesn't put his body and weight behind the strikes. If an arm puncher lands a shot on the button, then they can absolutley knock someone out even though it may not happen.
But someone with the punching form of GSP, they have an even better chance of knocking someone out then an arm puncher, simply because they have so much more behind the shots they throw.
If the fight stays standing, it will be an entertaining match, but GSP will still dominate.
If the fight goes to the mat, GSP will dominate the fight more then he would standing.
This fight has all the makings to be a barn burner. Hardy's chances of winning are slim, but who knows, Hardy could land the first shot he throws and knock the champ out.
Are the chances of this happening good? Absolutley not.
But then again, MMA is a sport of unexpected outcomes and major upsets. So I guess we will all just have to tune in and see what happens.