Dan Hardy is back with another column for the Nottingham Post and MMA Mania gets the quotes:
"One guy who struggled to keep up with the points I made was UFC middleweight and charisma donor Nate Marquardt, who always seems to have something to say about me, for no other reason than I once competed against one of his friends. Sadly, we can now add 'literacy test' to the types of tests Nate has failed, because he either misread the whole thing or – like writers from AOL and Yahoo did – just read the first paragraph or two and had to stop because reading gives him a headache. Ultimately, people can agree or disagree with what I wrote, but the facts are on my side. The Nick Lentz fight at UFC 118, which was the catalyst for my column, was the only UFC Prelim fight to ever lose TV viewers. That hurt the pay-per-view buy rate, it hurt Andre Winner's career, it hurt lightweight Joe Lauzon – who had an amazing performance immediately after Lentz's effort, which fewer people witnessed because of Lentz – and it hurt the sport as a whole. No one watching that Lentz fight was entertained, no one turned to their buddy and screamed 'Damn! This fight is so awesome! He's holding the hell out of him!' I would never presume to speak for the UFC, but I can't see Lentz getting any more prime time opportunities anytime soon."
It seems we have a feud that we'll never get to see settled in the cage. Hardy does make a few good points but complaining about the rules after you soundly lose, or a friend of yours soundly loses because of them, will earn you no friends. The best athletes in sports look inward. He is completely right about the Winner-Lentz fight driving away viewers but that's a necessary evil. I don't believe in changing the rules in the sport because one fight drove away some viewers and pissed off Dan Hardy. The most important thing to consider here is not what he IS saying but what he ISN'T saying. He's not saying that Winner should have done more to get off the fence. Or push off to reset to play to his strengths. Essentially he's saying, "He grabbed him and won't let him go. Unfair! Unfair!"
I'm still one hundred percent in the camp of Marquardt and the viewpoint that if you don't like wrestling in MMA, learn it and don't allow your opponent to use it against you. Andre Winner could be an unstoppable force at Lightweight if he molded himself in the manner of a Chuck Liddell and learned purely defensive wrestling to keep the fight standing and knock everybody out. Instead his teammate is just whining and the UFC now has to make sure they tiptoe around who to match him up with. Which means, in a roundabout way, Winner is hurting the sport just as much as Lentz supposedly is.