Exclusive: Dan Hardy's first interview on Markham fight
Following weeks of rumour and speculation, MMABAY can exclusively give you an interview, and 100% confirmation on his next opponent, from the man himself Dan “The Outlaw” Hardy.
MMABAY - Hi Dan, how’s it going?
Hardy - Everything is going well thanks mate, loving the fact that I can still wear shorts in winter in Los Angeles! Just easing myself back into training by dropping a few harder sessions in each week to prepare my body for the next training camp.
MMABAY - How’s the training going?
Hardy - Training is going really well, just concerntrating on the technical areas of my game and trying to not get too fat! I’m spending a lot of time working with Eddie Bravo and the guys at 10th Planet, bringing up my level of Jiu Jitsu while I have a little down time. I’ve gone back to basics on my striking as well, going over footwork drills and breaking combinations down to work of certain parts. You know... sharpening the weapons and trying not to get too fat!
MMABAY - How do you feel about the fight between you and Rory Markham?
Hardy - I'm excited! Its not only a great fight for me but a great fight for the fans too. Markham is an exciting guy to watch, he always comes to fight and has some impressive knockouts on his record. We are similar fighters in the fact that we like to stand and trade punches and neither of us will be willing to back down. I was at his debut back in July and I remember thinking at the time that I would like to fight him, now I get a chance to do it infront of a British crowd.
MMABAY - Obviously you can take a shot, but do you have a specific plan to neutralise Markham or avoid being caught with a KO shot.
Hardy - Firstly I dont plan on getting hit, if he does manage to catch me that means he is in punching range for me and I would expect to land an equally hard shot. The difference is, my chin has been tested and passed, I cant say the same for him. I have to respect his punching power but he also has to respect mine.
MMABAY - You said early when you first signed for the UFC that you didn’t want to fall into the trap a few of the other UK fighters had fallen into in fighting lower level competitors, do you like the progression of the standard of your competition so far?
Hardy - This is the perfect progression, Gono was a great debut fight. He made me work hard for the win and I had to chase the guy around for the whole fight, now I have a guy that will want to push the pace on me. It will be a welcome change from playing tag and missing half of my punches to landing everything because Markham will be infront of me all the time. We are both at the same stage in our career, same age, 1-0 in the UFC, both hungry for another win. I think this will be much more competative that my debut fight but will also have a more exciting ending.
MMABAY - Has the novelty of fighting in the UFC wore off yet or does it still feel like a dream sometimes?
Hardy - Not at all, it still feels surreal and I dont think that will ever go away. Im still a huge UFC fan, I'm just honoured to be fighting in the same arena as some of the best fighters to have ever thrown down. When I'm in the Octagon, its just a fight so I dont feel the UFC pressure. I get more nervous when I'm watching other fighters!
MMABAY - Again, obviously, never one to look past fights. But apart from the top guys in the division, is there anyone you would like to fight to take a big step up the ladder?
Hardy - Its difficult for me to say as there are so many guy that would make for a great fight. Fighters that are higher up the rankings than me such as Sanchez or Koscheck would be good wins but I have to earn a shot at those guys. They have paid their dues and I need to rack up a few wins before getting a crack at them. I think with Gono and Markhams scalps and maybe one more, I will have earned my place among those guys and I can start picking them off on the way to the title.
MMABAY - Thanks again Dan, would you like to thank any of your sponsors?
Hardy - All of my sponsors are great, Tapout keep it real and look after me real well. CompletePhilRichards.com are sorting out my diet and supplement program which is making a huge difference in the training. I have Piranha Springwater, HGH Infusion, Cagefilm, MMA Unlimited, ROKO Healthclubs, Fightshop.com, Gumshields.com and Sandee all showing their support and without them I couldnt perform at the level I need to.
Thanks again Dan, pleasure as always
By Rory Logan