Zak Woods thinks so:
...the real culprit in the negative fan reaction--bad promoting.
It is hard to find fault in the UFC for trying to sell the fight as "Can Dan Hardy channel Matt Serra?". But Zuffa failed to educate their fans on what to expect. Trying to hoodwink them into thinking that Hardy stood a chance on the ground with a last minute jiu-jitsu session with Matt Serra was folly (Serra called the training a "solid" for Dana White). It created the false expectation of a brawl, which was certainly expedited by Hardy's mouth.
Going forward, WKR would argue that the worse thing Zuffa can do is to play up the "Serra did it, could generic welterweight do it too?" story. That creates a ripe media environment for fans to believe that St. Pierre is avoiding standing out of fear of being knocked out . Rather it is better to focus on how St. Pierre is so well rounded he can exploit whatever his opponent's weakness is.
Besides, Hardy was never a legitimate contender for St. Pierre. While some might bemoan that as bad matchmaking the reality at 170lbs. is that there are few challengers available and all are imperfect contenders.
I have to agree with Zak here. There was nothing whatsoever wrong with GSP's performance. He utterly dominated Hardy both standing and on the ground. He repeatedly worked for submissions and twice nearly finished the fight. It's true, as Luke Thomas pointed out, that he didn't inflict the kind of damaging ground and pound that we saw him unleash on Matt Serra and Jon Fitch. But I utterly reject the notion that GSP did anything wrong in utterly dominating a dangerous opponent for five rounds.