Georges "Rush" St. Pierre Faces Dan "The Outlaw" HardyThe Ultimate Fighting Championship returns to New Jersey for the first time in well over two years at UFC 111 next March and the event will be headlined by a UFC Welterweight Championship bout between champion Georges “Rush” St. Pierre and rising British star Dan “The Outlaw” Hardy.

The bout will mark St. Pierre’s first fight back since suffering a groin injury in his five-round battle with Thiago “Pitbull” Alves at UFC 100 in July, while Hardy is coming off of a huge victory over former top contender Mike “Quick” Swick at UFC 105 on November 14th.

St. Pierre (19-2-0) has held the title since defeating Matt “The Terror” Serra in a rematch at UFC 83 and has successfully defended his belt three times in subsequent bouts.

His fourth-round corner stoppage win over arch rival and current UFC Lightweight Champion “The Prodigy” BJ Penn, sandwiched between two lopsided five-round decision wins over Alves and Jon Fitch, solidified St. Pierre’s spot as one of the very best mixed martial artists in the sport.

However, with the lengthy layoff due to the injury against Alves, it remains to be seen whether ring rust will be a factor when the Canadian superstar returns to action in March.


Hardy (23-6-0, 1 NC) quietly made a name for himself while competing for Cage Warriors Fighting Championships in England and Cage Force in Japan, but made his UFC debut against Japanese legend Akihiro Gono at UFC 89 with little fanfare.

After picking up a contested Split Decision over Gono, Hardy brutally knocked out former IFL standout Rory Markham at UFC 95 and bested heated rival Marcus Davis by decision at UFC 99.

While he was criticised for lacking a killer instinct in his battle with Swick – during which he had Swick badly rocked on two occasions and was unable to finish – Hardy’s victory was enough to earn him a spot as the #1 contender.


Many have written Hardy off entirely already, claiming that he poses no threat at all to St. Pierre. This, despite the fact that the fight is nearly four months away.

St. Pierre has been upset in dramatic fashion before by an even bigger underdog (Serra, in the pair’s first meeting at UFC 69), and Hardy hits even harder than Serra does. Taking the British trash talker lightly would be a critical error and could spell the end of St. Pierre’s title reign.


Like St. Pierre’s past opponents, Hardy must do everything possible to keep the fight standing so that he can aim for a knockout. However, as Serra, Fitch, Penn and Alves found out, that is much easier said than done.

The most likely scenario will see St. Pierre grinding out another one-sided decision victory, but fans would be wise not to discount the punching power of Hardy, who has shown that he is dangerous and underrated.


UFC 111 takes place at the Prudential Center in Newark, New Jersey. It is tentatively set for March 27, 2010, but the date is subject to change.