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Hardy: I'd love to fight Diego Sanchez, he's hilarious

ESPN staff
November 26, 2012 « Nadal to make Middle East return | Chartbeat test »
Dan Hardy talking to ESPN's Ben Blackmore

Diego Sanchez appears to be heading back down to lightweight, but if he stays in the UFC welterweight ocean he has a more-than-willing opponent in Dan Hardy.

Sanchez has signalled his intent to drop down to 155lbs and expects to face Takanori Gomi in his next outing. The Nightmare recently tweeted that he was waiting to hear if Gomi accepted the bout.

However, Sanchez has switched between weights throughout his career, and he beat Martin Kampmann at 170lbs as recently as March 2011. A follow-up loss to Jake Ellenberger was his most recent fight, but Hardy would love a scrap with the American.

"Diego Sanchez would be great. The guy's hilarious, I can't take him seriously," Hardy told ESPN. "I think a fight with him would be a lot of fun, why not?!"

Sanchez focuses on the power of positive thinking more than most in the UFC, often shouting "Yes" repeatedly en route to the Octagon. It is that type of emotion and extroversion that Hardy loves.

"I'll be doubled-up from laughter if he's doing that! Especially if he comes out to the Mariachi music - because that's just fantastic. It's like a circus, like a festival!"

The suggestion of Ellenberger was also put to Hardy, but the Brit conceded: "Ellenberger's closer to a title shot than fighting me at the moment. I'm trying to be realistic about where I am, and I need to win one or two fights before I'm back in his pool."

Hardy's latest fight saw him beat Amir Sadollah in Nottingham, but The Outlaw expects his next bout to be in the US. Now based around Las Vegas, Hardy does not want to waste a second by travelling away from his gym, where he is improving by the day.

"I have a rough schedule in my head of when I'm going to fight next, which the UFC usually throw out the window so it doesn't make a great deal of difference anyway!" Hardy said.

"I'm looking at the end of March, beginning of April. I don't want to slip back into the habit of taking fights just to fight. I'm making improvements now, I'm at a good team, and I want to allow myself that time to improve.

"It's very difficult to improve during training camp… you're just focused on game-planning and condition. Away from training camp I can think about the things I need to improve on.

"I'll be honest, I'd love to fight in Vegas again. UFC 146 kind of spoiled me, it was my first time fighting in Vegas - I really enjoyed it.

"I don't know what the schedule is for the UFC, or when they'll go to the UK, it's always a pleasure to fight there. But it's all about when the UFC need me, and I need to get better - that's the key."

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