Hardy v Johnson is like Superman v Batman – Zelaznik


Marshall Zelaznik labelled Dan Hardy‘s forthcoming clash with Anthony Johnson a “ridiculous fight”, claiming we are about to see what Hardy is “really made of”.

Hardy and Johnson collide in the co-main event of UFC Fight Night 24, headlined by a light-heavyweight encounter between Phil Davis and Antonio Rogerio Nogueira.

For the Briton it is the chance to bounce back from a knockout loss to Carlos Condit, and Zelaznik admits it never ceases to amaze him how willing the UFC‘s fighters are to head straight back into blockbuster contests.

“Dan Hardy has a big, big fight with Anthony Johnson. It’s a ridiculous fight. We’re going to see where the cream rises, If it was boxing Hardy would be looking at a couple of nice comeback fights to get him going after the Carlos Condit loss, but we’re going to see what he’s really made of.” the UFC chief told ESPN.


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Attention Goes to UFC 127 Drama, but Praise Belongs With Brian Ebersole

By Mike Chiappetta

Let’s put the UFC 127 controversy and arguments away for a little while, just long enough to celebrate someone deserving of some praise. Can we do that? I mean, it’s easy to focus on the negative, but shouldn’t we give equal time to the people who beat the odds? That’s why we watch sports, isn’t it? To watch people win, to overcome obstacles, and celebrate the triumph of the human will.

We get enough negativity in this lifetime from the regular news, yet in the sports world, the victory of Brian Ebersole is buried under the headlines of Michael Bisping spitting, and the disputed draw between BJ Penn and Jon Fitch.

Ebersole was never going to have an easy time stealing the limelight from those guys. Despite a career spent in the trenches, he was not well known by anyone other than the hardest of the hardcore fans. Walking in to his fight with Chris Lytle, Ebersole was a major underdog, particularly fighting on short notice as a replacement for the injured Carlos Condit.

But Ebersole performed brilliantly under the adverse conditions. He frustrated Lytle with his unconventional style, hurt him badly with a flush knee to the chin, and stifled most of Lytle’s considerable offensive skills.

When it was all said and done, Ebersole — a self-proclaimed MMA journeyman who had fought in places far and wide, from Australia to South Africa to Japan to Mexico — had his first UFC win at the age of 30.


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Brian Ebersole Shocks Chris Lytle for Cinderella Upset

By Kid Nate

Brian Ebersole waited ten years to make his UFC debut but only took three rounds to shock UFC regular Chris Lytle at UFC 127. Ebersole, a huge underdog took all three judges cards, 29-28 (x 2) and 30-27.

Ebersole opened the fight with a very unconventional and awkward carosel kick attempt that Lytle largely blocked. Lytle countered with a hard right hand. Ebersole shot in but Lytle easily stuffed it. Then he clinched and Lytle worked over Ebersole’s body. Ebersole shot in again and Lytle went for a guillotine but Ebersole reversed. Lytle then got top position as Ebersole worked his own choke attempt. Ebersole then got top position as a bleeding Lytle went after his neck. Lytle then went for a knee bar. Ebersole then landed some vicious ground and pound to end the round. Just before the round ended, Ebersole stood and spun his finger in the air in a dismissive gesture.

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MMA film to premiere at Hard Rock

By Damon Scott

A locally directed and produced documentary will have its world premiere at Albuquerque’s Hard Rock Hotel & Casino on March 11.

“The Proving Grounds” is a film about the one of the most visible Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) schools in the world — Jackson’s MMA. The school is located in Albuquerque at 5505 Acoma Road SE. MMA is one of the fastest growing sports in the world and one of the most popular pay-per-view events.

The film stars many of MMA’s most popular characters and supporters, including: Jon Jones, Clay Guida, Carlos Condit, Donald Cerrone, Leonard Garcia, Julie Kedzie, Diego Sanchez, Mike Winkeljohn, Holly Holm, Ricky Kottenstette and trainer Greg Jackson. The film also includes cameos of former Gov. Bill Richardson, Lobo men’s basketball coach Steve Alford, Mayor Richard J. Berry and Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) athlete Georges St. Pierre.

Fighter Jon “Bones” Jones is scheduled to be at the documentary premiere. He will be contending for the UFC Light Heavyweight championship in New Jersey in mid-March at the Prudential Center.


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Body + Soul + Ego = Brian Ebersole

By Thomas Gerbasi

Illinois’ Brian Ebersole always told himself to “be patient” when it came to getting a call to compete in the UFC. What he probably didn’t know was that such patience would take him through 11 years of competition and over 60 professional fights before he got that call.

Yet this weekend, Ebersole’s wild MMA ride will set down in his adopted hometown of Sydney, Australia, where he will face another veteran of the Midwest’s “Meat Grinder” circuit, Chris Lytle, on a UFC 127 card that the 30-year old hopes will be the start of something big for his career.

If anything, after not making last year’s Aussie card and missing the cut on season 13 of The Ultimate Fighter, Ebersole – who has won seven in a row – has earned his spot, and when Carlos Condit was forced out of the Lytle bout due to injury, he jumped at the opportunity.

“When I received word of the UFC offer for 127, I changed course immediately and worked to arrange the best training camp, which I did,” he said. “I didn’t think about the future, or how I felt about it. I was practical, and looked for immediate assistance in putting together the best two weeks that I could – as that’s all I had available to work with. So my reaction was to scramble, make calls, send emails, and hope that I would have talented training partners. And it so happens that I was provided a great set of circumstances, in Melbourne, thanks in large part to the efforts of Kimekai Martial Arts Instructor, Ed Bavelock.”


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Chris Lytle: “I usually have a game plan that usually lasts maybe four or five seconds.”

By Tim Groves

“I usually have a game plan that usually lasts maybe four or five seconds. As soon as the fight starts and I go out there and I get hit, I’m like ‘That’s it’.” – Chris Lytle to UFC.com.

Chris Lytle (30-17-5) has a history of being in exciting bouts. The former fireman has won four fight of the night bonuses, two submission of the night bonuses and one knockout of the night bonus in his past ten UFC bouts. Now it seems like we know why.

Lytle knows that he can’t throw his game plan out the window against crafty veteran Brian Ebersole (46-14-1-1) when they meet at UFC 127 in the coming week.

“I hope to dictate the pace, I have to make the fight happen where I want it to happen,” Lytle said.


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Dan Hardy Wants GSP & Condit Again, But Eyes Anthony Johnson

By MMAWeekly.com

To say 2010 was disappointing for Dan Hardy would be an understatement.

The British banger failed in his attempt to wrest the UFC welterweight championship belt from around the waist of Georges St-Pierre. He then, admittedly overconfident and cocky, was summarily knocked out by Top 10 fighter Carlos Condit later in the year.

As would be expected, Hardy wants another shot at both. Against St-Pierre, it’s more or less the want for an opportunity to prove that he can be the fighter to beat one of the all-time greatest champions in the sport’s history. The rift with Condit takes a much different path. He just plain doesn’t like Condit and wants to beat him down.

Neither, however, is on his immediate radar.

That position is held for Anthony Johnson, a fighter that Hardy considers a friend, but still the man that he is burdened with defeating at UFC Fight Night 24 on March 26 in Seattle.


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Note: You can watch the video interview for this story by clicking here.

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