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UFC 105: Dan Hardy Beats Mike Swick by Decision, GSP Next

Dan Hardy earned No. 1 contender status in the UFC's welterweight division on Saturday in Manchester, England, defeating Mike Swick at UFC 105.

The first round got off to a slow start, with Hardy landing one punch before they clinched against the fence. Swick then landed a knee to the groin that caused a pause in the action before they went right back to their clinch-fest. It was a fairly uneventful first.

Early in the second, Hardy drilled Swick with a hard punch, and for a moment he appeared to have Swick in serious trouble, but Swick was able to hold on to Hardy and give himself time to recover. For much of the second Swick and Hardy stalemated, but late in the round they began to exchange and both landed shots. After the second round, Swick's corner could be heard telling him that he was losing the fight and needed to press the action.

But it was Hardy who pressed the pace in the third, landing both punches and kicks on his feet and then going to the ground and landing punches to Swick's face from inside Swick's guard. With just over two minutes remaining, the referee stood the fighters up, and for the last couple of minutes they were cautious on their feet, with Swick not doing enough offensively to earn the decision.

The judges scored it 30-27, 30-27 and 29-28 for Hardy.

Up next for Hardy is UFC welterweight champion Georges St. Pierre, who has been resting since suffering a groin injury at UFC 100. St. Pierre has so thoroughly dominated his recent opponents that it's hard to see him losing. But he'll get a challenge.

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