It wasn’t even close. In fact, it was the epitome of pure domination. For five rounds straight, Georges St. Pierre controlled the much hyped Dan Hardy, flaunting a sick wrestling and grappling game that pushed Hardy to his limits. There was no finish but this fight was done from the opening bell.
Dan Hardy had worked his way into the hearts of many fans via the hard to hate personality portrayed on UFC Primetime and had changed so many people’s bets to favor the British underdog just based on curiosity alone. He promised that he would bring something to the table that would challenge the Welterweight champion, but there was never a moment that he had an advantage. St. Pierre showcased the true definition of a mixed martial artist and took one step closer to legend status. He did everything in the book and nearly broke Hardy’s arm in the process. “The Outlaw” declined to tap even though his limb was at a fragile position right near the breaking point. I credit Dan Hardy with a strong spirit and heart as he escaped the kimura and armbar but it looked like Mr. Professional kept it clean and did not want to cause unnecessary carnage in front of a large live and pay-per-view audience.
The UFC ran a graphic stating that Georges had the best takedowns in MMA and he did not disappoint as he dropped Hardy at will and then followed with relentless ground and pound which neutralized “The Outlaw” so that the champ could attempt submission after submission. Hardy put mind over matter as his weathered limbs went “rubber” and survived the pressure St. Pierre applied allowing him to remain alive long enough to complete all five rounds against one of the best to ever grace the Octagon. Hardy earned respect from the audience and Georges himself as he resisted the onslaught of world class power, never allowing St. Pierre to finish. The champ apologized for the decision and promised that he would not allow his next opponent to finish the full five rounds.
After such a beating, Dan Hardy needs an up-tempo test to show off his versatile abilities and I think Carlos Condit would be the perfect opponent to push the pace. Condit has the ground and striking skills to match up with Hardy and the duel would most likely garner Fight of the Night merit.
Some claim that the Welterweight division is surely cleared out and there is no more competition. Case in point may be that St. Pierre has previously beaten two of the three top challengers (Fitch and Koscheck) and the third (Daley) has no takedown defense or ground game, something which is dire to keeping up with the champ.
All this brings one to wonder when Welterweight will wear thin and GSP will make the move to Middleweight on a path to meet, Anderson Silva, the only other fighter who compares to him in the pound for pound debate. Who knows?
One thing is for sure after tonight though and that is that Georges St. Pierre is the best Welterweight in the history of MMA.