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UFC 111: Georges St. Pierre Beats Dan Hardy by Unanimous Decision

Georges St-Pierre vs. Dan HardyGeorges St. Pierre retained the welterweight championship of the world on Saturday night, defeating Dan Hardy by unanimous decision at UFC 111.

It was a takedown clinic from St. Pierre, who slammed Hardy down to the ground over and over again and was never in any trouble -- but it was also a fight that St. Pierre wasn't able to finish, which left the champion disappointed.

"It's a win, but I'm not very happy with myself," St. Pierre said afterward. "He's a lot better than I thought he was. I just want to apologize to my fans. I'm sorry. I want to come back better next time. I'm very sorry -- I wanted to finish this fight."

St. Pierre looked laser-focused on the task at hand from the outset, while Hardy was laughing, grinning and jumping around in the Octagon before the fight started. It was only half a minute into the first round when St. Pierre took Hardy down and got on top of him, executing his game plan exactly the way he wanted to. After a minute on the ground, St. Pierre got into side control and then took Hardy's back on the ground, having Hardy in all kinds of trouble on the ground.

Hardy showed good composure and actually got to his feet briefly, but within a few seconds St. Pierre was picking Hardy up and taking Hardy back to the ground. St. Pierre is not just the most skilled fighter in the 170-pound class, he's also one of the strongest. He demonstrated that with the effortless way he took Hardy down and controlled him on the ground in the first round, a round that ended with Hardy somehow escaping from an arm bar that St. Pierre appeared to have locked in.

Said St. Pierre of the arm bar, "I thought he was made of rubber."

Hardy managed to stay on his feet for the first minute of the second round, but eventually St. Pierre managed yet another takedown, and he effortlessly got into side control on the ground. Hardy did manage to get back up and have an even exchange of strikes on the feet, but then St. Pierre took Hardy down again at the end of the second.

The third round started with -- surprise! -- a St. Pierre takedown. St. Pierre continued to completely control Hardy on the ground, not coming close to finishing Hardy but certainly dominating the fight and basically making Hardy look hapless against a much better opponent.

It was only 10 seconds into the fourth round when St. Pierre took Hardy down again, and only 30 seconds in when St. Pierre achieved full mount. They stayed on the ground for about three minutes before St. Pierre sunk in a kimura that appeared close to forcing Hardy to tap out. Amazingly, Hardy refused to tap and survived the round.

In the fifth and final round, St. Pierre waited until 20 seconds had passed before he took Hardy down, and some fans started to boo, as if they were disappointed at seeing the same old thing and wanted something different. St. Pierre continued dominating on the ground, and then, just for good measure, let Hardy up one more time and slammed him down one more time before the fight ended with St. Pierre the clear winner.

The judges scored it 50-43, 50-44 and 50-45 in favor of St. Pierre, who improved his record to 20-2 with the victory.

Hardy, who fell to 23-7 with the loss, talked plenty of trash before the fight. But he was classy in defeat.

"It was an honor to fight him," Hardy said. "I can see now why he's the champion. He's just a very, very strong athlete. Very, very technically skilled."

The fight was the main event of the UFC's biggest card so far in 2010. In the co-main event, Shane Carwin knocked out Frank Mir to win the UFC's interim heavyweight title, setting up a huge showdown with Brock Lesnar this summer for what will likely be the UFC's biggest fight of the year.

In other UFC 111 action, Kurt Pellegrino submitted Fabricio Camoes, Jon Fitch won a fairly dull decision over Ben Saunders, Jim Miller earned a close decision win over Mark Bocek, Nate Diaz had one of his most impressive victories to date in defeating Rory Markham, and Ricardo Almeida choked out Matt Brown.

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