Dan Hardy's take on getting a title shot tonight against UFC welterweight champ Georges St. Pierre is a little different than most fighters. He hasn't talked about finally achieving his dream or the biggest night of his career. Instead Hardy looks at his "first" fight against GSP as the beginning of a long journey to stardom.
"This is by far not the pinnacle of my career," said Hardy. "This is the first fight on the step to becoming recognized as the best."
Hardy knows even with a win there will be questions about the legitimacy. He saw it with Matt Serra's experience after upsetting St. Pierre.
"Obviously I'm going to knock him out. So people will say it was a lucky punch. Of course, you're gonna to hear that," said Hardy. "So I'm going to have to knock him out twice."
Hardy knows why he's in this position. Just four fights into his UFC career, he's earned a shot with one of the promotion's top three fighters. Part luck, part circumstance and part using his big mouth.
"I'm not under any false pretense about my position in the division, but even once I've got the belt people won't consider me as the champion until I've gone through the next two or three guys on the ladder."
Is that cocky or looking ahead? Or just realistic and confident?
British writer Gareth Davies is all over Hardy with coverage in The Telegraph.
Hardy thinks that St. Pierre has a fear of losing and that's something to be exploited. Matt Serra says beating GSP starts with believing that you can do it. All the British MMA fighters and boxers believe Hardy can pull the upset.