In a battle of hype-bloated prospects, Mickey Gall bettered Sage Northcutt at UFC on Fox 22 this past weekend and proceeded to call out an unlikely veteran after his win: Dan Hardy.
The 24-year-old Gall boosted his stature in October by blasting through CM Punk — a predictable outcome but one that seeded Gall’s name in our minds. He tactically singled out Northcutt after beating Punk; knowing that a win over another hyped commodity would increase Gall’s relevance. Beckoning Dan Hardy seemed like another grasp at keeping Gall’s hype train rolling, but Hardy reportedly wants nothing to do with Gall.
Hardy spoke with Ariel Helwani on The MMA Hour podcast on Tuesday and expressed disinterest in locking horns with the surging Gall:
(Hardy’s interview starts at the 2:46:25 mark)
The British veteran told Helwani:
“I’ve never fought anyone with under 8 fights in my whole career and I’m not looking to knock out an up and coming prospect. I’m ready to come back but I want a big fight, a veteran with 20 or 30 fights
I don’t want to affect the career of these young guys who I’m going to be commentating for in the future,” Hardy said. “We’re just at different stages of our career.”
Gall was also interviewed during the podcast and took Hardy’s rejection with grace:
“He has that right. He’s a legend and I respect him and that’s cool. Love you Dan.”
Hardy is on a two-fight win streak in the UFC, but hasn’t competed since 2012 due to health issues and a fledgling career in MMA commentary. Gall is 3-0 in the UFC but has yet to prove himself against a bona fide contender. It remains to be seen what’s in store for each man in the Octagon.