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Motivated Hardy ready to reignite faltering UFC career

ESPN staff
August 3, 2011 « Harbhajan ruled out of Edgbaston Test | Chartbeat test »
Dan Hardy has his focus back after a string of defeats © Getty Images
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Dan Hardy has admitted that taking himself out of his comfort zone has left him in the right place to get his stuttering UFC career back on track".

On the back of three consecutive losses, Hardy (4-3 in UFC) moved his training base to Las Vegas to train with heavyweight Roy Nelson. The welterweight was travelling between Nottingham and Los Angeles to prepare for fights but, with his current slump in form, Hardy knew a change was needed.

"It's made life a lot easier," Hardy told MMAjunkie.com. "When I'm in the UK, I do a lot of traveling around to different gyms, training with different guys whereas over here [in Las Vegas], I have everything I need right at the same gym that's just around the corner of my house.

"So I get a lot more time to rest, a lot more time to refuel and rehydrate, and [there is] great talent around me, as well as getting pushed forward. Sometimes, you just need to take yourself out of your comfort zone, and I think maybe I slipped into a bit of a groove with LA and England. And that kind of training that I found maybe just got a bit too comfortable for me.

"Coming out here, having 'Big Country' yelling at me and sitting on top of me most of the day has really changed that."

Hardy's grappling skills, or lack of them, were unearthed when he fought Georges St-Pierre for the title at UFC 111. With inferior wrestling abilities, Hardy was always going to struggle against the bigger names and was found wanting once again when Carlos Condit knocked him out at UFC 120 and Anthony Johnson got the better of him in March at UFC Fight Night 24.

Despite his recent defeats, Hardy is determined to prove his doubters wrong and has entrusted the help of Nelson to get his grappling up to scratch.

"That's a continuous process, and that's something I have to work on for the rest of my career," he said. "But I've always taken those steps, and I feel like I've made a lot of improvements in the last four weeks."

A fight with Chris Lytle (30-18-5 MMA, 9-10 UFC) is on the horizon and Hardy is adamant he is prepared to take the fight, which headlines UFC Live 5 on August 14, to the floor in order to prevail.

"I'm really comfortable wherever the fight goes," he said. "Obviously, everyone knows what I like to do, and everyone knows what Chris likes to do, as well. So I don't think there are any surprises there.

"But regardless of wherever the fight goes, I'm ready for it. I want to show people what I can do. I feel this is a turning point in my career," Hardy said. "I've got to get things back on track, and I'm in the right place to do it."

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
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