Dan Hardy vs Anthony Johnson Targeted For March UFCA welterweight bout between former UFC title challenger Dan “The Outlaw” Hardy and hard-hitting striker Anthony “Rumble” Johnson is in the works for next March. MMAjunkie.com reports that the matchup will likely serve as the co-main event of UFC Fight Night 24 on March 26th in Seattle.

Hardy is coming off of the first knockout loss of his career and finds himself on a two-fight losing skid for only the second time. Johnson has not fought in over a year since falling to recent title challenger Josh Koscheck, but a victory over Hardy could move him one step closer to contender status.

Hardy (23-8-0, 1 NC) won seven straight fights, including four inside the Octagon, to earn a shot at UFC Welterweight Champion Georges “Rush” St. Pierre this past March. However, while he showed huge heart in persevering through many submissions from the champion, Hardy was never able to threaten St. Pierre and came out on the wrong side of a lopsided Unanimous Decision. He had then looked to rebound with a win at UFC 120 in October, but was knocked out by final WEC champ Carlos Condit in the first round. The second straight defeat dropped Hardy from contendership and he must now fight his way back towards the top of the division.

Johnson (8-3-0) had been scheduled to face John “Doomsday” Howard in 2010, but injuries suffered by both fighters forced the bout to be cancelled on multiple occasions and Johnson will now set his sights elsewhere. With six of his eight wins coming by way of knockout, many in brutal fashion, Johnson’s game plan for most fights is straightforward. Having seen that Hardy is not infallible, Johnson could look to test his chin in March, but ring rust may play a factor. Johnson has won three of his last four fights, but has been sidelined for 13 months. An impressive performance would get him back on track, but Johnson is likely still a few wins away from title hopes.

UFC Fight Night 24 is expected to take place on March 26, 2011 in Seattle, Washington. A venue for the event has not yet been officially announced, but the card will be headlined by a light heavyweight bout between Antonio Rogerio “Minotoro” Nogueira and “The Huntington Beach Bad Boy” Tito Ortiz.



(Photo Credit: Sherdog.com)