1) Hardy’s stronger than he looks
He might not have George St-Pierre’s enviable abs, but anyone who’s been following his workouts online will know that Hardy’s strength coach Ollie Richardson emphasises low reps, big weights and explosive moves, which has made Hardy one strong, fast bastard. What's more, For the last three weeks of his training camp he’s been working with NFL pro-maker Joe DeFranco, who’s infamous for training his athletes to move and hit like forked lightning.
2) Hardy is A real martial artist...
…and a cracking one at that. He’s been training in taekwondo since the age of six, and while he might not throw a lot of spectacular kicks, it’s given him incredible timing. He’s also learnt traditional kung fu from some of the most respected masters in China, which has helped him to develop the self-discipline and mental fortitude to train hard and stay strong under pressure.
3) He’s got an underrated ground game
Hardy got his brown belt under weed-loving jiu-jitsu wizard Eddie Bravo, the first American to ever tap out one of the legendary Gracie family. Bravo has his own style of guard - known as ‘rubber guard’ - that emphasises minimising your opponent’s opportunities to punch you while working for submissions. It didn’t work too well for BJ Penn against GSP, but George Sotiropoulous showcased it brilliantly against Joe Stevenson, cleverly wearing knee sleeves and ankle bandages to maximise the gripping power of his legs. Our suggestion for Hardy? Cover them pins and you might pin George. Big might, we know.
4) He’s got the experience
Although the Canadian’s arguably faced stiffer opposition, Hardy’s actually fought and won more fights than GSP – with a 23-6-1 record against GSP’s 19-2. Hardy hasn’t lost a fight since 2007, hasn’t been stopped since 2005 – and he’s never been knocked out.
5) It only takes one
Hardy has rocked his opponents in all four of his UFC fights – he dropped Davis with a knee, wobbled Swick with a right, staggered Gono several times and sparked Rory Markham clean out with a counter left hook. No matter how good GSP is, and we know he's seriously good, we don't think he'll be able to cope with a Nottingham flush.
For more workouts and interviews with the UFC's top British stars, check out our UFC section.
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