Heading into Saturday’s UFC on Fuel TV 5 in Nottingham, England, everyone expected fireworks from hometown hero Dan Hardy and The Ultimate Fighter 7 winner Amir Sadollah… and they didn’t disappoint.
Sadollah, although he looked a little bit stiff, was the more aggressive fighter early on, coming straight at hardy with a mix of punches and kicks. A bit surprisingly, Hardy was the one to hang back and look more for counters in the early going.
After getting the opening round out of the way, however, it was Hardy’s fight to lose. He showed a renewed aggression in the final two round, stalking Sadollah, beating him to the punch, and showing a new wrinkle to his game… takedowns.
Hardy put Sadollah on his back several times in rounds two and three. In the third, he did some really strong work on the mat, opening some cuts below the eyes of Sadollah and mounting up some damage, taking the fight away from the former TUF winner.
Hardy said before the fight that there was no way he was losing on his home turf – he is in fact from Nottingham – and he didn’t.
Despite the slow start, Hardy earned a unanimous nod from the judges.
“I have a tendency to go out and start trading punches, but I’ve got to be smart and I’ve got to be sensible,” explained Hardy of why he didn’t go toe-to-toe from the opening bell.
Hardy was full of emotion fighting in front of his hometown fans and could think of only one thing that could top the feeling of getting the victory at home.
“Just go out and get the belt for you guys is the only thing that could be better than this. “
The victory was Hardy’s second in a row after finally kicking a four-fight skid to the curb.
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