As I was thinking of an article to write as my "Comeback" article as I haven't written for Bleacher Report for over a year or so and I wanted to write something that will stand out, that will piss people off and is against public opinion. Then it hit me. Take the loudmouth, underdog, hated brit and tell everyone why he will leave the Prudential Center with the UFC Welterweight Belt.
I'm a big fan of GSP. How can anyone not be? He is probably one of the greatest fighters in UFC history, he's still in his prime, and he's super classy, always giving respect to his opponents win or lose. Not only has he been a wrecking ball at 175, but his style of fighting is appealing to the eye and his crossover appeal makes him great to market, which these days, that’s as important to the UFC as winning your fights. GSP has blown away Hughes (twice), Alves, Fitch, Koscheck and Lightweight Champ B.J Penn as well as many others. But come late march, he's losing his belt.
Dan Hardy is brash, cocky, and unapologetic and has skills to shock the world. I'm going to detail three specific reasons why he will upset Georges.
Dan Hardy is probably the most confident fighter that I have seen in the UFC. His confidence is very becoming to myself, because I see it as he knows that he is the underdog, he knows nobody is giving him a chance in hell, and yet he knows what skills he has and he knows that if he fights his fight, he can beat GSP. Now, you’re probably saying "Of course he is going to act confident, it's just an act and GSP is a better wrestler, he's faster, he's stronger, this fight is over." Dan Hardy's act is convincing me for the main reason he has backed it up before and that brash, cocky style shows off in the ring. He fights with confidence just as he speaks. He was arrogant in the buildup up to Rory Markham. Left hook KO. He was shit talking like no other in the buildup to the Marcus Davis fight. Bloodied up Davis in the win. He has been the underdog in all of his UFC fights, and he has won all of his UFC fights. His confidence has never wavered and his pre-fight game plan has not changed. Get inside my opponents head, throw them off the game plan, and execute when the octagon door closes.
2.) Technical Boxing
I'll give you that GSP is a much better wrestler than Dan Hardy, but I think that Dan Hardy's takedown defense is underrated and it's not going to be as easy as people think for GSP to take him down. One advantage I definitely give Hardy is the technical aspect of the standup game. Hardy is very precise and very methodical with his punches and kicks. GSP maybe more explosive and quicker, but Hardy's counter punching will become a problem for GSP if this fight is on the feet. It was a beautiful counter left hook that KO'd Markham and Mike Swick and Marcus Davis are regarded as very good standup fighters. Hardy outstruck them both. Are Davis and Swick on St. Pierre's level? Probably not, but Hardy will hold his own and show how much of a better striker he is than GSP.
3.) GSP's Mental State
People are easy to say that this GSP is nothing like the GSP that lost to Matt Serra a few years back. I tend to disagree with that. What has GSP proven mentally to convince anyone he isn't a little bit of a head case? He hasn't been pushed since the Serra loss. He hasn't been in a close fight? What's going to happen when GSP can't do what his game plan asks for? Have we seen that since the Serra loss? GSP has had "mental issues" before. His first loss to Hughes, he couldn't even look into Matt's eyes. His overconfidence against Serra must have been produced by all the people saying Matt Serra had no chance to beat GSP and why is this fight even taking place. That sounds awfully familiar. Sounds like what I am hearing these days about Dan Hardy. I have a feeling that Dan Hardy is going to make GSP break, make him fold, make him quit.
Anytime you put 2 men in a cage, anything can happen. We all have seen it before and we will all see it again. If GSP wins this fight, it won't prove anything. He was supposed to win and Hardy shouldn't have even been fighting the "great" Georges St. Pierre. That's not what people will be saying the Sunday morning after this fight. Dan Hardy recently said it better than I can recently on the upcoming UFC Primetime show.
"I know that I can give GSP hell when the times come. It’s so sweet stepping out into the Octagon on the other side saying, ‘I told you so.’ All these GSP fans that are betting the house on him, when they wake up Sunday morning ... they aren’t going to be too impressed with themselves."
Man it's great to be confident.