The fight is one Hardy requested following his decision loss against Anthony "Rumble" Johnson at UFC Fight Night 24 in March. After working his way to a title shot against Georges St. Pierre last March, Hardy has now dropped three straight fights and is at risk of being cut from the roster. But after two of those losses resulted from being out-wrestled by his opponents, he wanted a chance to trade strikes with someone, and Lytle was at the top of his list.
Lytle had worked his way up the ladder and seemed on the verge of perhaps getting a title shot himself, but was derailed by an upset decision loss to Brian Ebersole in February in Australia. The loss snapped a four fight win streak for Lytle, and he'll try to bounce back against the former title challenger in Hardy on the main card of this event.
The card takes place from the Bradley Center in Milwaukee, Wis. on August 14, though no headlining bout has yet been chosen for the card.
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Penick's Analysis: This is a fight both of them wanted, and it should be an excellent fight for a free card on Versus. Hardy is in desperate need of a win, but even though he'll likely get his wish of standing and trading punches with an opponent, this isn't any easier for him than any of his previous losses. Lytle, despite the loss to Ebersole, remains a very good fighter and will be a dangerous opponent for Hardy who can damage the Brit throughout a three round fight. This card is coming together well so far, and should hopefully be a really good one for Versus in August.
[Dan Hardy art by Cory Gould (c) MMATorch.com]