Wednesday, September 09, 2020

UFC color commentator and hopefully-not-former fighter Dan Hardy challenged Georges St-Pierre for the welterweight championship at UFC 111 on March 27, 2010. "The Outlaw" had been rode a seven-fight win streak into the fight, lost a unanimous decision, and then lost the next three. However, in 2012 Hardy turned his career around with back to back wins over Duane Ludwig and Amir Sadollah. Then Hardy was diagnosed with Wolff–Parkinson–White syndrome; the fighter declined the UFC doctor mandated ablation treatment, as he has never experienced any symptoms. So he has transitioned into a commentary role.

During a recent appearance on MMA Junkie Radio, Hardy lent his expertise to the GOAT discussion.

“[GSP] is definitely on Mount Rushmore – he’s definitely one of the top four; I can’t see anybody else above him,” said Hardy, as transcribed by Simon Head for MMA Junkie. “The thing that makes ‘GSP’ stand aside, is the fact that not only was he an excellent martial artist in the Octagon, but he lived the lifestyle out of the octagon. He was squeaky clean – there were no run-ins with the police, no failed drug tests, nothing like that. The losses that he had, he came back and won. I always think that proves an excellent martial artist, someone that found a limitation and then managed to push their way through it.

“Obviously I’m biased, because I spent a bit of time getting to know him, himself, in his home gym and everything. He’s a fantastic martial artist, he operates on a very high level. It’s difficult to put anybody else above him.”

Hardy also expressed admiration for another strong GOAT candidate, former middleweight champion Anderson Silva, noting that his “mastery of skill is something that will always stand alone.”

“They’re the top ones for me. But ‘GSP,’ as far as his track record and his character outside the UFC as well, and what he stands for as a martial artist, I think he has to be the GOAT for me.”

“To spend 25 minutes in there with him, he was a challenge in every range, and I learned a lot from it. To be in there with one of the best was amazing, and then to be able to go into his training camp afterward and help him prepare for a couple of fights, I learned a lot about him and how he puts his training camps together and how he structures things. It was fantastic.”

“So much time’s passed – 10 years now – and we’re in different places in our lives, and we can look back on it and reminisce with a lot more humor, I suppose is the best way of putting it. But it was a lot of fun. ‘GSP’ is one of the greats of the sport, and he moved things along so much, including myself. We all had to raise ourselves to his level. For him to still be so humble and to have so much humility is quite amazing.”

UFC welterweight Michael Chiesa recently chose another candidate - Demetrious Johnson, who was traded to ONE Championship, but got called out recently by new UFC flyweight Deiveson Figueiredo.

Who is your GOAT, UG? And why?