He's back (and he's angry).
Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) is giving British bomb-dropper Dan Hardy a chance to snap a four-fight losing streak when he takes on Duane Ludwig at the upcoming UFC 146 event, tentatively scheduled for May 26, 2012, at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Hardy, who managed to fight his way into a welterweight title bout against division champion Georges St. Pierre at UFC 111 back in March 2010, failed to recover from that unanimous decision loss and went on to drop his following three contests, including a submission defeat to longtime veteran Chris Lytle last August.
Following the loss, fans expected "The Outlaw" to leave town for good; however, UFC co-owner Lorenzo Fertitta declared that Hardy was here to stay and would live to see another day inside the Octagon.
Now, the former Cage Warriors knockout specialist is ready to recapture some of his former glory, and tells ESPN.co.uk he's got a new system in place to put an end to his "distractions."
"I've got the anger back that I used to have when I was at Cage Warriors, which is a good place to be because that's when I enjoyed hurting people. I spent my whole career trying to get to the UFC, but then a lot of changes in my life, personal things and the media attention - it distracted me from being a mixed martial artist. I've never put the time aside to get back to that place. I've made alterations, but I've never completely changed my training camp. After the losses to GSP and [Carlos] Condit, I was too eager to get back in there and get a win. I over-trained big time, the last two fights don't even look like me. I can see it in the expression in my face, the [Anthony] Johnson fight and [Chris] Lytle fight, I was exhausted before I even stepped in the cage. I was not in a good situation, I was ready to fight Lytle three weeks too early - I was exhausted. Now I've got a system where the coaches take all responsibility away from me, all I have to do is show up to the gym."
Anyone think Hardy can turn his career around and work his way back up the 170-pound ladder? Or will he go out with a "Bang?"
UFC 146 is expected to be headlined by the biggest fight of the year (literally), when heavyweight champion Junior dos Santos puts his strap on the line for the very first time against division number one contender and famed Dutch striker Alistair Overeem.
More news and notes on UFC 146 in our extensive news archive right here.