The Outspoken Outlaw: Dan Hardy on Matt Hughes, Amir Saddolah, and Josh Koscheck

Roy Billington

I met with former UFC welterweight title challenger Dan Hardy here in Nottingham to talk about his upcoming bout at UFC on Fuel TV 5 with Amir Sadollah. We also talked about his war of words on Twitter with Matt Hughes, as well as his thoughts on a future fight with Josh Koscheck.

(Click to go to the complete audio.)

RB: Dan, there has been a lot of talk of a potential fight with Matt Riddle, but it’s the other Matt that interests me, Matt Hughes. As a vegetarian, I loved the comments you were firing back at him about his hunting. Is that a fight that interests you?” 

DH: No, not really, to be honest. Matt Hughes has been past it for a long time now. It’s a misinterpretation — just because I make comments about his person’s life doesn’t mean I want to fight him. Just because we’re in the same weight class and I make comments about him doesn’t mean I want to fight him. I don’t agree with a lot of things Brock Lesnar does, but that doesn’t mean I want to fight him.

Obviously if the UFC offered me a fight with Matt Hughes I would take it because he is a legend in this sport and it’d be good for his record, but as far as his actions outside of the ring, they are my comments. I don’t think he realises what he’s doing or the effects he is having.

My issue is that he preaches that he is holier than everyone, then he goes shooting poor innocent animals. I can’t see how any one can inflict pain on a living being and still believe that he’s better than anyone else. 

(Smiling) You know they hide behind scriptures that have been misinterpreted the idea that we have dominion over creatures means we have full control over them.

Well to me it’s stupid because the Bible has passages that say it’s sinful to eat meat, and others that are pro-meat, so it’s open to interpretation. 

For me, it’s our duty to look after them just because we are a more conscious species, and he has just interpreted it to suit his own lifestyle and what he enjoys.

Okay, well off Matt Hughes and on to Amir Sadollah — what do you think about that fight? 

I think it’s going to be a fun one. You know he’s got the stamina, he’s conditioned to go the distance, he likes to take a good shot and I love to give them; we’ll see what happens. He lost a decision to a guy I just knocked out. Like, I mean, I have a lot of respect for him taking a fight in my hometown. I mean, a lot of fighters would of turned it down.

You’ve been training extensively with Ricky Lundell. How much has your ground game improved? 

It has improved leaps and bounds. I hoped to use it in my last fight against Duane (Ludwig), but you know the old left hook did its job. The positive of that is he has like 4 minutes of footage of a guy that he really doesn’t know anything about, or the new skills I have developed, and he’s preparing for a guy from tapes that are over a year old. It’s really difficult to understand.

It must’ve took a weight off your shoulder knocking out Ludwig.

Yes, it was a huge relief. You know we really needed it, it was exactly what we needed. Obviously I’m a big fan of Duane and I always like to see him, but when we are drawn up against each other, I had to get my job done.

You’re still relatively young, you still have the future ahead of you, but I heard Georges St. Pierre has asked you to train with him for his fight with (Carlos) Condit in November. Is that true?

Yeah, I’m going out at the start of November for his last week of sparring. Do you not see that as a conflict of interests?

Do you not want to eventually fight George again, or are you looking at this as a scouting opportunity? 

(Laughing) No, not at all. There’s a lot of benefits for me going out to train with him. We get along very well, we spent some time together last time, and I learned a lot from him. And to be honest, I’m a distance a way from a title fight right now, and he is moving to the end of his career, or at least the end of it at this weight class.

Is there any dream fight you would really like for the future. Is there anyone you really want? 

Hmmm, ask me again after the fight.

I’d love to see you fight Nick Diaz.

That’d be great. I want to fight anyone exciting. I’d love to coach The Ultimate Fighter against Koscheck, as we have animosity against each other.

Is that related to the Daley incident? 

It’s actually before that. After I beat Mike Swick at UFC 105 and I went to UFC 106 and he called me out, saying I haven’t beat anyone, and I had just beat his mate, I found that really disrespectful. But I’ve never liked him before that anyway.

See Dan Hardy take on Amir Sadollah at UFC on Fuel TV 5, and rate his fight at MMA Ratings.

Listen to the complete audio.

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