It doesn’t happen too often with the UFC, but welterweight Dan Hardy was granted a reprieve after losing his third consecutive scrap inside the Octagon. Knowing there is no way another defeat would keep him employed by the world’s premier mixed martial arts promotion, Hardy understands the heat is on, but he fully intends to come out firing this Sunday against Chris Lytle.
“It does put pressure on me because obviously I love fighting with UFC,” Hardy said of his must-win situation. “It’s unusual territory for me. I’ve never been in this situation before. I had two back-to-back losses a while back in my career and that was a very difficult situation to be in.
“But at this level that’s just the way it goes sometimes. You get in there and you give everything you’ve got every time and the outcome a lot of the time is out of your hands because it’s just such an unpredictable sport and the level that we’re fighting at is so high that anything can happen at any minute.”
After dropping a lopsided unanimous decision to reigning king Georges St-Pierre at UFC 111, the slugger followed it up with a knockout loss to Carlos Condit at UFC 120 and then a decision defeat to Anthony Johnson at “UFC Fight Night 24.”
Although “The Outlaw” owns a respectable 23-9 record, he knows his pink slip will be waiting for him if he leaves Bradley Center in Milwaukee without a W.
“There is definitely pressure, but I’ve just got to kind of go with the flow. I can’t force it too much,” Hardy added. “If I think about it too much then it’s going to get me down and it’s going to stop me performing at my best, and right now I feel like I’m unstoppable and that’s exactly what I need to feel going into this fight.
“So the thought of the three losses is more of a motivational tool than anything else.”
Hardy and Lytle headline “UFC on Versus 5” this Sunday in Wisconsin. Versus will broadcast the card’s main bouts live beginning at 9PM ET/6PM PT.