When talking about the differences that separate Marcus “The Irish Hand Grenade” Davis and Dan “The Outlaw” Hardy the words bad blood come to mind. Honestly though, bad blood doesn’t do this match up an ounce of justice.
After cruising the Internet and researching some of the volleys and antics involved in this pre-fight hype, one may struggle to truly encompass in words what is fueling the war between these two.
The stage is set for a war that will surely deliver all it was cracked up to be. Fueled by what appears to be a deep hatred by both men, escalated into an international event on PPV.
This one will definitely live up to the hype. It could be a 20-second two piece and a biscuit ending with one man on the floor, or it could be a 14.5-minute war, ending up with one man on the floor.
In the mix, fans see a proud Irish American. A man who takes great honor in representing that fact. Opposing him they find a proud Brit who fights hard to earn the respect of his fans in the UK. Both fighters claim to represent their heritage in the sport. Davis for Ireland by way of an Irish lineage, and Hardy the U.K. by sheer demographics.
The two fighters have found themselves caught in a love triangle with the European fan base. Both feel a sense of ownership of the crowds in Europe, and feel that loyalty is reciprocated. Not unlike the story of The Highlander though, there can be only one.
Hardy, born and bred in Europe, feels the rightful heir to throne. He has an automatic “in” with his local fans. His exciting style, and the flare he carries are a dead lock to reel in the ever explosive English fans. If you don’t know about these Brits and their love of sport, catch a football game some time, proper football that is.
Davis has fought in Europe six fights straight now. While Hardy will be fighting his third fight ever in the UFC. Davis hasn’t fought in the states since April of ‘07. Needless to say Hardy, even with his local appeal, is late to a party that Davis started many fights ago.
That fact does not stop Hardy from staking his claim that Davis has padded his European resume and fan base with false representations of his background. Hardy has not only called out Davis as being a “plastic patty” but has gone so far as to play a role in less than flattering images of Davis on the web.
Davis may love his Irish American heritage and carry it high but he has earned more European fans with his fists than with his kilt. Over his six fights in Europe, four have ended early and his only loss came at the hands of Mike “Quick” Swick. Showings like his are what really lures fans in. The heritage doesn’t hurt though.
Another aspect for Davis is simply the American side of his Irish American background. That holds every bit as much weight as the Irish part. So going into this fight he not only represents his Irish background but he carries the U.S. Flag on his shoulders as well.
At the end of the day that’s all bollocks to the Brit Hardy. He sees Davis as full of it, and has seen fit to call him out on it. He has done so in a very public way which is to his preference. Hardy is an in your face type of guy, and is in Davis’ face. Davis is not backing down and matter of fact is stepping up.
The insults have flown, the accusations have been made, and declarations of war have been delivered. Both men are aiming dead read for the others heart, it is now time to sort it all out.
It's hard not to get into the specifics of what is transpiring between these two, and harder not to pick a side and write about it. Suffice to say that a dislike unlike anything MMA has seen since Tito and Shamrock seems to be brewing here.
Here these two stand, not far from the finale of a show that pitted the U.K. against the U.S. for an entire season. The tone for this fight was set months ago. Country against country, two of the most exciting fighters from each, ready to do business.
Every MMA match up brings some discussion and an exchange or two between pending opponents. It’s par for the course. Sometimes it’s fun, sometimes crafty, respectful, even heated. Rarely though do opponents carry the ill will beyond the doors of the cage when they exit.
This pair is bringing a very personal sense of drama into their fight with them. These sort of feuds can never be worked out in just one fight. It may take a rematch or two before respect is earned and what is wrong between them can be righted. It is possible they take the high road after their fight and bury the hatchet. Stranger things have happened.
Then again, some things can never be fixed.
Either way, on a night that guarantees fireworks in a grand finale style, this fight has all the potential to be the biggest show of explosiveness all night long. Here is to never knowing, cheers MMA fans! With rivalries like this brewing how can you not love this sport?
This article was originally posted on Inside Fights. Todd is a staff writer there.