Stephie Daniels does it again - this is another must read interview if you care about mixed martial arts.
Dan Hardy fights Amir Sadollah in two weeks at UFC on FUEL 5, but found time to talk with Daniels about what will be the most important fight of his career, the value of losing, and saving MMA from The Ultimate Fighter.
Stephie Daniels: You had a bumpy road for a while, then you broke the cycle with your knockout win over Duane Ludwig. Do you feel more pressure to win this fight, to keep the streak going?
Dan Hardy: Absolutely. It would almost invalidate the last win if this next one didn't go my way, particularly with it being in my home town. I have a lot of good memories from fights in my home town, and this one will be the biggest and best one of all. This is going to be the most important win for my career. I really need to perform, not only to show that I can win again, but that I can win impressively, as well. I need to show that I'm still moving forward, and that I still have a place in the division.
SD: For as long as I've known you, you've always been single minded in your purpose. It's always been about getting the title. Now, you seem to be taking things in smaller increments, in a step by step process. With a win over Amir, what would be the next step you would want to take?
DH: You know, there is one thing that I would like to do. I was watching the previews for the new Ultimate Fighter, and after watching that preview, I would like to go on that show and be a coach, just to try and save the sport from that show. I love the UFC and I love mixed martial arts, and martial arts in general, but that show is killing us. They fill a house with a bunch of guys that act like jackasses, and expect them to come out as mixed martial artists on the other end.
This is your six weeks to create a filter that everyone will look through for when they meet you in the future. If you're smashing things into the kitchen wall and yelling at people and throwing beds into the pool, every time somebody meets you, regardless of how much time has passed, they're going to look at you through that filter of that douchebag that they saw on that TV show. The problem is that people are watching this and thinking that's the UFC, and that's not the UFC. That's not me. I'm not like that. That is as far away from me as could possibly be, and I hate that I am connected to that by default through the sport.
It's not an accurate representation of the sport. I know hundreds of fighters all around the world that are sensible and disciplined and professional. They conduct themselves well, and converse well. Then, you've got these kids on the show, acting like lunatics, and making us all look bad, because that is a lot of people's first contact with the sport. Even if I were to get on that show and spend six weeks trying to convert these kids, and it not work, at least people will be able to tune in and watch the show and know what a professional mixed martial artist is like, and that he's trying to educate these kids and turn them into pros, as well. I would love to coach TUF, just to make a last stand for the reputation of MMA.
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