You’re fighting Paul Taylor at UFC 105. How do you see it going?
Obviously I see myself winning, but Paul Taylor’s a great striker so I’m looking to take him down and finish from there.
You’re undefeated in the UFC, but this is the first time you’re fighting another English guy. Does that change the way you think about the fight?
Not really. Nationality is irrelevant once you step into the Octagon.
Where do you see yourself in the lightweight title picture?
I’ve got a lot to learn – I’m only 22. I’d say I’m still a year and a half away from title contention. I don’t think about my record too much, I just concentrate on training hard, staying focused, and performing to the best of my ability.
What’s your biggest strength?
My record shows me winning by strikes, but a lot of those were from punches on the ground. I’d say I’m slightly more of a grappler – I come from a rugby background, so I’m using to tackling people.
There’s been an explosion in the popularity of UK MMA. Do you ever get recognised in the street?
Not too much outside the MMA community, but everyone recognises MMA as a legitimate sport now, rather than the caged barbarity it was originally percieved to be.
Final predictions for UFC 105?
I’m hoping for a first round stoppage in my fight, and hoping Randy Couture can pull out the win over Brandon Vera. I’m also hoping Dan Hardy and Paul Kelly win their fights. I see Andre Winner knocking out his opponent, ditto Michael Bisping against Denis Kang. James Wilks, who’s fighting Matt Brown, impresses me every time I see him – he absolutely brutalised DaMarques Johnson.
Still hungry for more UFC 105 stories? Then read this interview with Ross Pearson, who's also on the card.
Dan Hardy is currently starring in a series of UFC conditioning workouts in Men’s Fitness magazine. If you want to get as ripped as him, subscribe to the magazine. We'll give you five issues for £5.