- Dan Hardy has backed Charles Oliveira to defend his title against challenger Justin Gaethje at UFC 274
- Hardy feels like a potential matchup with Conor McGregor only helps if Gaethje comes out on top
Former UFC welterweight title challenger Dan Hardy has elected his favorite going into UFC 274. Reigning UFC lightweight champion Charles Oliveira will take on former title challenge Justin Gaethje this Saturday. In what many perceive to be a classic striker vs grappler showdown, Hardy believes ‘do Bronx’ has the ability to snatch a victory.
Dan Hardy favors Oliveira against Gaethje
In an interview with Submission Radio, Dan Hardy previewed UFC 274 and spoke about the main event. When asked about who he sees winning the fight this weekend, ‘The Outlaw’ backed Oliveira to win.
“I’m leaning slightly towards Oliveira because he’s got a lot of technical advantages,” Hardy said. “I feel like he’s going to be able to win the striking as long as he doesn’t get hit with that big shot and take too many low kicks.”
A big danger in facing Gaethje is his ability to chop at his opponents’ legs. Hardy makes a very good point about Oliveira’s Muay Thai stance and how that could benefit the Brazilian.
“But he stands high on his rear leg so the lead leg is less vulnerable.”
Will Conor McGregor face the winner?
Having been on the sidelines for about a year, speculation regarding Conor McGregor’s next opponent has been rife. ‘The Mystic Mac’ has expressed interest in fighting the current UFC pound-for-pound king and welterweight champion Kamaru Usman. A fourth fight with Dustin Poirier or a third fight with Nate Diaz remains on the cards as well.
Hardy shared his thoughts about the possibility of McGregor facing the winner of Oliveira-Gaethje.
“Does McGregor want to fight Charles Oliveira? Is it a fight that’s going to really, really sell? Is it worth taking that fight knowing full well that most likely he’s’ going to get beat up and submitted?”
He doesn’t believe ‘The Notorious One’ stands much of a chance against the reigning 155 lbs king but believes a fight against the human ‘Highlight’ reel makes sense.
“I don’t think he has the skillset to beat Charles Oliveira. I do think he has the skillset to beat Gaethje. I think that’s a very marketable fight. I think if Gaethje wins, you might see Conor McGregor in there. I think if Oliveira wins, I don’t think we’ll see him anywhere near that lightweight belt whether he wants to fight for it or not.”
Talking about who McGregor should be looking at next, the 39-year-old pointed out another fight on the same card. According to Hardy, the Irish superstar is better suited to fight the winner of Michael Chandler vs. Tony Ferguson.
“I don’t think Usman’s a better fight for him either,” Hardy added. “If I was Conor McGregor, I’d be looking at something like that (Chandler vs Ferguson).”