Emotion is something certain people have the ability to contain, while others find trouble in dealing with the burden of it. For fighters, the loss of emotional control can cloud better judgement, putting a halt to any game plan they might have against their opponent on fight night.
Dan “The Outlaw” Hardy is a fighter that can relate to this.
In his last fight against Carlos Condit at UFC 120: Bisping vs. Akiyama, Hardy fell victim to Condit’s punching power, losing by knockout to the former WEC welterweight champion. Emotionally compromised by the pre-fight talk, Hardy admitted to underestimating Condit’s striking and it cost him.
At UFC Fight Night 24: Nogueira vs. Davis, Hardy will face a returning Anthony “Rumble” Johnson, and although he has nothing against him personally, “The Outlaw” will look to harness his emotion and take all his frustrations out on Johnson come Saturday night.
“I’ve nothing against him,” Hardy said recently of his UFC Fight Night opponent. “After the fight, we’re going to shake hands, we’re going to be friends again, but for right now, it’s his fault.
“This (expletive) training camp (has) just been a dragon.”
Obviously, the reason fighters hold training camps – which typically last anywhere between eight to 12 weeks – is to prepare for a pending fight. For Hardy, the amount of time he has to put in towards camp fuels his drive to beat his opponent. Once the Octagon door closes, he’s all set to take out his anger on the one standing across from him in the eight-sided cage.
“I already do training camp because I enjoy fighting,” he said. “So by the time I get to a fight, I blame my opponent for the training camp that I had to put myself through. And that’s what makes me push as hard as I do.”
Hopefully for Hardy, he’ll be able control his emotions enough to serve him well against “Rumble.” Johnson is returning from a lengthy break from injury, but it doesn’t mean Hardy will find it any easier to deal with the big welterweight, especially one who likes trade blows as much as Johnson.
Hardy appeared to get caught up in the emotion a little too much for his fight against Condit. Mental mistakes like that can cost a fighter, but according to him, Hardy sees the emotional roller coaster as par for the course.
“There’s always an emotion in the fight because it’s either me or him,” he explained. “So it did get emotional. And especially (with) the things I have to sacrifice over at the training camp.”
For his UFC Fight Night 24 bout, Hardy explained that his training camp was 11 weeks long. That’s 77 days of pent up agitation to release on fight night. He’ll look to use every single bit of it when he trades shots with Anthony Johnson in the co-main event of the evening. The chances are strong this fight will end early with a knockout, going nowhere near a decision.
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