Posted 1/25/08 3:12:00PM
Hardy paid his dues, taking his first professional bout in 2004. He worked his way up, primarily through the ranks of the Cage Warriors Fighting Championship, where he held titles as both welterweight and light welterweight champion, until the sport finally developed to the point that being a full-time mixed martial artist was a legitimate pursuit.
When the Ultimate Fighting Championship started its international expansion efforts, they looked first to England, where the small scene that Hardy was dominating was starting to gain some traction. Not long after, they finally took notice of Hardy’s efforts, signing him to fight at UFC 89 in late 2008.