UFC on Versus 5 Fight Card: Is Dan Hardy Fighting for His Job?

UFC 120: Press Conference Photo Gallery via UFC.com

In the main event of this Sunday's UFC on Versus 5 card, Dan Hardy and Chris Lytle meet in a Welterweight contest. Stylistically, it's a good fight, with two men who tend to deliver excitement, both hungry for a win. But as a main event it is perhaps a bit of a strange choice, as both men are coming in off of losses, meaning the loser will add another consecutive loss to his record. This should be especially troubling for Hardy, who already is on a three fight losing streak. A fourth straight loss would be devastating, and so we have to ask:

Is Dan Hardy fighting for his job this Sunday?

It's odd to think of a main eventer on the chopping block, but consider Hardy's situation. Coming into the UFC in 2008, Hardy won his first four fights, earning a reputation as a heavy handed power puncher, despite only stopping one of those four opponents. The wins earned him a shot at Georges St. Pierre, more out of necessity than anything else. In that fight, Hardy turned in a game performance, gutting his way through some nasty submission attempts en route to losing a decision. 

Since the GSP fight, things have not gone so well. His return fight saw him knocked out by Carlos Condit, and he followed that up with a lopsided decision loss to Anthony Johnson. Both were troubling losses. The Condit fight caused some to question his chin, while the Johnson loss exposed huge holes in his wrestling. To Hardy's credit, he has since acknowledged those flaws in his wrestling, and has changed his training accordingly, moving to Las Vegas to train wrestling and grappling with Roy Nelson. He also seems very aware of his situation, telling ESPN, "I've got to get things back on track, and I'm in the right place to do it."

So far, Hardy has managed to avoid the chopping block, largely because of his marketability. He's a big personality who hypes fights well, and he's a draw for the UK market. But at some point that marketability is just not enough - you need to back it up with wins.

On Sunday, when Dan Hardy stands across the cage from Chris Lytle, it will be nearly two years since his last victory. Expect him to come out like a man fighting for his life - because that's exactly what he is.

More UFC on Versus 5 Coverage From SBN

X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior users will need to choose a permanent username, along with a new password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

I already have a Vox Media account!

Verify Vox Media account

Please login to your Vox Media account. This account will be linked to your previously existing Eater account.

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior MT authors will need to choose a new username and password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.

Join Bloody Elbow

You must be a member of Bloody Elbow to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Bloody Elbow. You should read them.

Join Bloody Elbow

You must be a member of Bloody Elbow to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Bloody Elbow. You should read them.

Spinner.vc97ec6e

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.

tracking_pixel_5349_tracker