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Locally based strikers will fight in England’s UFC on FUEL 5

Dan Hardy returns home for welterweight co-main event


Sam Morris / Las Vegas Sun

UFC fighter Amir Sadollah works out at Xtreme Couture March 8, 2011.

UFC on FUEL TV 5 complete card

  • Main card airs at 1 Saturday afternoon on FUEL TV after facebook preliminaries beginning at 10:30
  • Heavyweight bout: Stefan Struve vs. Stipe Miocic
  • Welterweight bout: Dan Hardy vs. Amir Sadollah
  • Welterweight bout: John Hathaway vs. John Maguire
  • Bantamweight bout: Brad Pickett vs. Yves Jabouin
  • Lightweight bout: Paul Sass vs. Matt Wiman
  • Welterweight bout: Che Mills vs. Duane Ludwig
  • Light heavyweight bout: Kyle Kingsbury vs. Jimi Manuwa
  • Featherweight bout: Andy Ogle vs. Akira Corassani
  • Middleweight bout: Tom Watson vs. Brad Tavares
  • Welterweight bout: DaMarques Johnson vs. Gunnar Nelson
  • Featherweight bout: Jason Young vs. Robert Peralta

Dan Hardy and Amir Sadollah spent the majority of their camps ahead of UFC on FUEL 5 training a short drive down Interstate 15 from each other.

The welterweights will fight half a world away, however, when they step into the octagon for Saturday’s co-main event in Nottingham, England.

Sadollah (6-3 MMA, 6-3 UFC) has fought out of Las Vegas since winning the seventh season of “The Ultimate Fighter.” Hardy (24-10 MMA, 5-4 UFC) moved to town more than a year ago in the midst of a three-fight losing streak.

“I went through a phase where I wasn’t really enjoying myself, wasn’t enjoying the training,” Hardy said at a press conference. “I needed to move camps. I needed to change things up. That’s why I moved to Las Vegas.”

Hardy initially worked with Roy Nelson upon relocating to the Fight Capital of the World but switched to Frank Mir’s team earlier this year.

“The Outlaw” scored his first victory in three years, knocking out Duane Ludwig in the first round on the undercard of UFC 146 at MGM Grand Garden Arena, under the new coaching staff. The knockout snapped a four-fight skid and grabbed the attention of Sadollah, who was coming off a victory of his own a week earlier at UFC on FUEL 3.

“I enjoy going against fighters who are aggressive,” Sadollah said. “The more passive fighters aren’t as fun to fight. Dan Hardy is a counter-puncher, but he’s aggressive with it. I will be able to draw him in. All the pressure is on him to make this a great fight for his own fans here.”

Hardy moved to Las Vegas from Nottingham, where he became one of England’s brightest prospects by starting his career 19-5. He never expected to fight in his hometown under the UFC banner, thinking the Capital FM Arena wasn’t big enough.

When he heard of the Nottingham plans around the time of his victory over Ludwig, Hardy immediately asked for a fight on the card. He figured not many opponents would jump at the chance to challenge him in his hometown, but Sadollah never considered turning down the bout.

Thus, one of Hardy’s fantasies came to fruition.

“I can grab my bag and walk to the arena from my apartment, which is even better,” Hardy said. “The last two fights I’ve slept in my own bed before the fight, which is always a bonus, as well. The beds are 5,000 miles apart, but they’re both my own beds.”

With both fighters’ preference for striking, Hardy vs. Sadollah stands out as an early Fight of the Night candidate at UFC on FUEL 5. Sadollah believes he’s found areas of Hardy’s style to exploit.

No way, Hardy counters. He didn’t come all this way to lose.

“I’ve never lost in Nottingham, and I never will,” Hardy said.

Case Keefer can be reached at 948-2790 or [email protected]. Follow Case on Twitter at

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