Dan "The Outlaw" Hardy: Future, Fluke, or Still Improving?

David ModerCorrespondent IJanuary 2, 2010

I recently did an article about how Vitor Belfort might have a chance against Anderson Silva. At first I wasn't going to do one about Dan Hardy and Georges, because originally I didn't think Hardy stood ANY chance. However, I recently realized this might not be true.

When Mike Swick beat Ben Saunders, sorry, CRUSHED the previously unbeaten Ben Saunders with his "Quick" hands, I was very impressed. This seemed like a fighter who could pose a decent challenge to Georges St. Pierre, or so I thought. He has great striking, which could make a situation similar to the Matt Serra incident possible. He also seemed to be able to have good stamina, and go the distance in decisions.

He seemed like a great fighter.

That is, until Dan Hardy came along.

Swick and Hardy were to fight a fight that would determine the next challenger to the almighty Georges St. Pierre. I figured Swick would easily dispatch Hardy, and so I was eagerly awaiting the fight between Swick and St. Pierre. The only thing I was really interested in in the fight between Swick and Hardy was how quickly Swick would (T)KO him.

Dan Hardy dominated the whole fight before taking home the win in the unanimous decision. It was completely unexpected and I had no idea what to think. I didn't even consider Hardy surviving the first round, let alone dominating the whole thing.

I, of course, instantly thought that Hardy was going to get destroyed by Georges. He didn't stand a chance. I also scoffed at how ridiculously confident Hardy was, stating things such as, "I am a fighter and Georges is an athlete." Yeah, right.

I thought a little bit more, and I decided it wasn't going to be as one-sided as people thought. Let's take a look at the record of this overconfident "Outlaw."

Surprisingly, Hardy has most of his losses in the beginning of his career, and he hasn't really been beaten in his last 13 fights. I don't count his DQ against Yoshida. Besides Swick, Hardy has also beaten Marcus Davis and Akhiro Gono. He has good striking, as he definitely proved against Swick.  

However, there are no more upsides to Hardy's record. His wins against Akhiro Gono and Marcus Davis were both only split decisions. Against Davis, he was taken down multiple times, something that simply cannot happen against St. Pierre. Hardy might be on a winning streak and recently beat a strong fighter, but for all we know it could have been a once-in-a-million fight that he won.

If somehow Dan Hardy loses, this could unfortunately be a big blow to his ego, since he is SO confident right now. Especially if Georges wins particularly dominantly. This also seems to be Hardy's peak in his career, so if he loses he will most likely never even get close to the title shot that he never deserved in the first place.

This is definitely a once in a lifetime chance for Hardy, and he needs to at least put up some kind of a fight not to be labeled as a total fluke.

The bottom line is:

Dan Hardy better start training.