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Ten years on, Dan Hardy says he’d love to run back ’embarrassing’ UFC 120 loss to Carlos Condit

ABU DHABI – Dan Hardy’s desire to get back into the octagon remains undimmed, and part of his assignment as a UFC fight analyst at UFC on ESPN 16 this past Saturday night only served to get his competitive juices flowing even faster.

Hardy was on the call throughout fight night, and commentated on old rival Carlos Condit’s unanimous decision victory over Court McGee on the preliminary card at Flash Forum. Following Condit’s win, Hardy stepped into the cage and chatted to his old adversary about his latest winning performance inside the octagon.

Speaking to reporters, including MMA Junkie, on Yas Island ahead of UFC on ESPN+ 37, Hardy was asked whether seeing Condit again brought back any memories of their past meeting, and whether he’d be interested in stepping back into the cage to face “The Natural Born Killer” in a rematch, some 10 years removed from their first encounter.

“Yeah, absolutely I would, of course,” he grinned. “It’s the only time I’ve ever been stopped with strikes in a fight. As a striker, that was rather embarrassing. I laughed at it at the time, but of course, you look back and I’m like, ‘That was stupid of me!’ I learned so many lessons in that fight.

“When you come off a fight against a world champion – and I didn’t do well against (Georges St-Pierre), but I got to 25 minutes – and I spent the next four or five months traveling around the U.S. and everyone was going, ‘Ah! A little bit of takedown defense and you’ll be fine!’ So then I’m looking at everybody else in the division, especially Condit as a striker, and I’m thinking, ‘Well, you’re not ‘GSP,’ so you’re not going to take me down. What have you got to offer me?’ And I had complete disregard for his striking power, which was my mistake.”

Hardy and Condit were both rising stars of the UFC welterweight division when they met in the co-main event of UFC 120 in London, England back in October 2010. In a matchup that saw both men go toe to toe in a striking-heavy matchup, Condit spectacularly knocked out Hardy when both men connected with left hooks at almost the same time. Condit’s shot landed marginally faster, and significantly harder, as he flattened Hardy, who admits that he looks back at the fight as a learning moment for his career.

“You can watch that fight, I stepped in three times and threw the same left hook,” he recalled. “I caught him a little earlier in the fight, and I saw his eyes spin one time and thought, ‘Yeah. I’ve got his number. I’ve got his range now,’ and I got too eager to chase after it. He set me up perfectly. You watch his strikes, he mixes them up really nicely, and he caught me clean on a counter. I still hear about it from my coach – he still pokes fun at me and laughs about it.”

After defeating Hardy in London in 2010, Condit went on to capture the interim UFC welterweight title before pushing St-Pierre to the scorecards in a losing effort at UFC 154 in November 2012. However, since that defeat, Condit has won just three times in 10 fights, with his win over McGee halting a five-fight skid.

Hardy said he was encouraged to see Condit’s performance in Abu Dhabi, and paid tribute to a fighter who he holds in the highest regard as he said he’d love the opportunity to face off with his old adversary one more time to see if he could even the score from their showdown at The O2 Arena a decade ago.

“Of course, he looked great the other night, and that’s really what I wanted to see from him, because I do genuinely believe he’s up there with the Nick Diaz and (Jorge) Masvidal kind of guys in this division,” he said. “He’s a lethal individual – he’s ‘The Natural Born Killer.’ He’s a great striker, he’s very unorthodox, he’s back in a place – psychologically as well as physically – where he looks like he can have some good fights. And who would not want payback for the only person who knocked him out? Absolutely!”

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