Dan "The Outlaw" Hardy is one of Britain's most talented fighters. He is a very skilled fighter that uses an assortment of strikes to break his opponents down. At only 27-years-old, Dan has shown tremendous improvement as a MMA fighter and seems to get more dangerous every time out. Hardy is one of the U.K.'s most popular fighters and this should be a good matchup to help get him some "big fight" experience against an extremely tough opponent. Hardy has a professional record of 22-6 with eleven wins coming by way of knockout and four wins coming by way of submission. The combined career winning percentage of the opponents that he has faced is 58.5%.
Mike "Quick" Swick is another of the reputable fighters that emerged from season 1 of The Ultimate Fighter. Mike competed at 205 on the show but spent much of his career at middleweight. Now this 30-year-old Texas native finds himself competing at a more natural weight, 170 lbs. Swick has looked very impressive in wins over Josh Burkman, Jonathan Goulet and Ben Saunders. Now, with a title shot in his sights, we'll get to see if Swick is deserving yet of a run at Georges St. Pierre's belt. Mike Swick has a professional record of 14-2 with seven wins coming by way of knockout and three wins coming by way of submission. The combined career winning percentage of the opponents that he has faced is 68.2%.
This matchup has a lot riding on it, presumably a shot at the world championship. This is the fight that I am most looking forward to. I have both of these guys listed as solid top ten welterweights. The thing is, I can't shake the feeling that Swick is a bad matchup for Hardy. Dan is usually able to press the action with his standup and break his opponents down. I see Mike as an equally competent striker and I think that he might even give Hardy problems on the ground (if the fight goes there). I think that the crew at AKA will have Mike ready to perform at a high level and that we'll see him focused and ready. That might be enough to give him the edge in this one, even in hostile territory. I know that some folks don't think that Swick can leave it up to the judges in Hardy's backyard, but..... My prediction: Mike Swick by decision.