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Hardy to fight for future against Lytle on US soil

ESPN staff
May 11, 2011
Dan Hardy is 0-3 in his last three outings © Getty Images

Dan Hardy's make-or-break fight in the UFC will not take place on home soil, ESPN can confirm.

Hardy has strung together three straight losses, against Georges St-Pierre, Carlos Condit and Anthony Johnson, to leave his UFC future in severe doubt. Defeat to Chris Lytle would surely see the Briton handed his marching orders by the UFC.

With so much riding on the bout, it was widely expected that Hardy would appear on the UK card, expected for October this year. However, the UFC has confirmed to ESPN that Hardy is heading for UFC Live in Milwaukee, where he will headline the card against Lytle on August 14.

UFC president Dana White said: "This is a great fight - two of the most exciting fighters in the welterweight division who've both got a lot on the line. Hardy has a fan friendly style and is looking forward to an all-out war. He actually asked Lytle for this fight because he wants to take on a guy who is known for having absolute wars.

"This is another very dangerous fight for Dan. Lytle has won the Fight of the Night bonus a record five times. He's also won KO of the Night and Submission of the Night twice, more bonuses than any fighter in the UFC.

"Both guys love to throwdown and got for it. This could be one of the best fights of the year and I'm pumped to see it."

Hardy added: "I'm very happy to get this fight, and I want to thank the UFC and Chris Lytle for making it happen. I was very disappointed by my last fight and was in the gym almost immediately. I've got the summer to improve my game and I'm very aware that Chris is as good with his submissions as he is his strikes. But it is exactly the fight I wanted, Chris is trying to finish you throughout the fight, and I'm ready for a blaze of glory.

"This is the kind a fight you can define your career around. You can guarantee Chris Lytle will bring it, that he will have an exciting fight. He's someone I have always respected because of his attitude. Everyone loves to watch this guy fight; the UFC, the fans and I bet especially his bank manager with all those Fight of the Night bonuses he gets.

"We're not high-ranking guys right now. A year or so ago I was at the top of the division, riding a four-fight win streak in the UFC. I never thought my UFC career would start like that. But that's a long time ago now, and now I've got it all to do again. But I'm ready for the challenge. I'm ready to claw my way up.

"This is no easy fight. Chris Lytle is no-one's idea of a one-dimensional slugger. He can submit you in a second, he's very good on the ground and striking. He's also a great athlete; he will try and push the fight for five minutes of every round. I'm excited for the fight.

"I am getting a place in Las Vegas and I'm training full-time with Roy Nelson and some of the best in the world. I used to split my time between LA and Nottingham, but there's more MMA in Vegas so me and my girlfriend are getting a place there. Roy is already adding things to my game but we've not scratched the surface of what he can teach me. He's a legitimate top contender as a heavyweight and a lot of people don't realize he's a great wrestler and a legitimate Renzo Gracie BJJ black belt."

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