UFC on Fuel TV 5 : Hardy vs. Sadollah Saturday, September 29 – 5:30 p.m. ET
Capital FM Arena – Nottingham, England
Dan Hardy (24-10) vs. Amir Sadollah (7-3) Welterweight bout
Line: Hardy -200, Sadollah +160
In the top welterweight bout on UFC on Fuel TV 5’s main card Saturday in Nottingham, Englishman Dan Hardy will take on American Amir Sadollah.
Hardy has fallen on tough times—he worked his way up the ladder to challenge Georges St-Pierre back in 2010, but was quickly KO’ed. After that, he lost three consecutive fights, but finally rebounded with a dominant KO against Duane Ludwig. Sadollah enters this bout coming off a controversial split decision against Jorge Lopez. Prior to that, he lost a unanimous decision to Ludwig. Hardy has never had trouble making easy work of less experienced foes like Sadollah. In his four-match losing streak, Hardy fell only to the best of the best. Hardy, meanwhile, did not let Ludwig escape the first round while Ludwig later outfought Sadollah. Hardy belongs among the elite in this division and should have no trouble in front of his home crowd. Even as a significant favorite, take HARDY to win this one.
After losing to St-Pierre, “The Outlaw” Hardy then lost to Carlos Condit, Anthony Johnson and Chris Lytle. Hardy’s power and speed are often a lethal combination, as he showed in the fight to get to St-Pierre against Mike Swick, a unanimous decision. Still, most of Hardy’s career wins have come via knockout, 15 of 24 in fact. An expert in Taekwondo, striking makes up the majority of his game. He incorporates Jiu Jitsu, but he is unlikely to win via submission with just one career victory that way. Still, Sadollah has never had to defend against the likes of Hardy.
Sadollah is a well-rounded fighter who, despite having less experience than Hardy, has had it all in UFC since winning The Ultimate Fighter 7. Since then, however, he has failed to make a move with wins against middling opponents and losses that prevent him from reaching the upper echelon. At 5-foot-11, he cedes an inch to Hardy but owns a 75-inch reach, one longer than his foe’s. Although Sadollah has lost only once by knockout, he appears poised for the same thing to happen here. This could be a good preparation map for down the road when he gets another chance at somebody really good, but he will struggle to generate any momentum in this bout.