It’s probably safe to assume that when the announcement of Dan Hardy vs. Duane “Bang” Ludwig was made official as an addition to UFC 146, that many didn’t think that the fight would go the distance. Ludwig holds the record for the fastest KO in UFC history, and is widely considered to be one the best “pure” strikers in the sport, while Hardy also shares a penchant for standing and trading shots, regardless of whether he’s on the losing end or not.
Hardy had one of the fastest rises to MMA fame in recent memory, by winning his first 4 UFC bouts, and for also being a onetime UFC welterweight title challenger. Hardy had a lot to live up to, as far as hype is concerned, and in an unfortunate twist of fate, dropped four consecutive losses, prompting possible dismissal discussions. Thankfully, Hardy was offered yet another opportunity to get back in the winner’s circle with his match-up against Ludwig for UFC 146: Dos Santos vs. Mir.
Hardy took nearly a year off to hone his skills and clear his mind in an effort to reinvent himself, and as evidenced by his terrific first round, bonus earning, KO finish of Ludwig at Saturday night’s event, he’s obviously looking to build on the new momentum. What’s next for Hardy is up in the air, but as popular as Dan is, he’ll likely be given another high-profile opponent. Until then the “outlaw” can enjoy his much-needed win.