The animosity between Mike Swick (14-3) and Dan Hardy (23-6) was clear as they came to the center of the cage for pre-fight instructions. The two stared each other down and didn't touch gloves as the fight started. The animosity translated into a three-round battle, with Hardy edging Swick by unanimous decision, 30-27, 30-27, 29-28.
Hardy and Swick spent the majority of the first round in the clinch, with first Swick and then Hardy working for a takedown that never came. Both landed knees, but it was truly difficult to decide who was better in that round. Hardy clipped Swick to start the second round, but lost momentum with another takedown attempt. Swick was able to get off a few shots, but Hardy continued to push the action. His control continued through the end of the fight, as Swick sustained a ton of strikes both while standing and while on his back.
"Yeah, that was a tough fight. I can't take anything away from Mike," Hardy said. "I did what I could, England."
Hardy will now get the next shot at the welterweight belt and Georges St. Pierre. The champ came into the Octagon after the fight and congratulated Hardy for his win.
"Well, Dan proved that he is a great fighter and a big, big threat to my title," St. Pierre told the crowd. Unfortunately, GSP won't be able to fight until late in the winter, as he is still rehabilating from injuries.