For the first time in a while, Mickey Gall won’t be getting what he asked for.
Gall, who was successful in securing fights with C.M. Punk and Sage Northcutt after calling them out during post-fight interviews, took his latest opportunity with a live mic to challenge retired UFC fighter Dan Hardy to a fight. “I’d like to welcome back Dan Hardy,” Gall said in the cage. “He says he wants to come back for a marquee fight, and I think I’m a marquee fight right now.”
Hardy was surprised at the call out, but was quick to decline. During an appearance on Monday’s edition of “The MMA Hour,” Hardy said he was looking to fight someone with a little more experience.
“I’m not looking at knocking off a future contender that I’m possibly going to be commentating for in the future,” he said. “And at the same time, if I was going to fight, I want to fight a veteran.” He added that he doesn’t want to get in the way of someone who is still developing as a fighter. “I want to fight someone who’s had 20, 30 fights, who’s matured in their game and is sure of their fighting style, rather than someone who’s still developing.”
So it’ll be back to the drawing board for Gall who will have to come up with a new name to challenge, or perhaps put his fate in the hands of the UFC. And as for Hardy, most notable might be that he didn’t deny the comeback talk.
Hiscoe’s Analysis: It’s a bit of a misstep for Gall to have called out Hardy, as the chances of the fight happening were low as Hardy hasn’t been cleared to fight yet, despite his intentions. On top of that, he didn’t take the bait at all, but good for Mickey Gall for trying.
Gall said this weekend that he is looking to move down to lightweight and thinks he can be champion in two years. He subtly but smartly dropped Conor McGregor’s name, saying how he respected that McGregor went through the sacrifice of cutting to 145 and that he wanted to follow a similar path in going down to 155. I get the impression that Mickey Gall is a very smart guy when it comes to fight promotion and that the McGregor name drop was no accident. He knows he’s nowhere near a fight with McGregor, but by talking about him in comparison with himself while saying he wants to be champion in two years, plants a subtle seed in fans minds.
TUESDAY NOTEBOOK ITEMS
-Final UFC on Fox numbers from this past Saturday had viewership at 3.178 million viewers, peaking with 4.8 million for the short main event between Paige VanZant and Michelle Waterson.
-Frank Mir, who is still under suspension, told FloSports that he was open to a submission grappling match with Jon Jones, but that the money offer would need to be right. Mir is still looking to get out of his UFC contract so he can fight elsewhere.
-ONE FC bantamweight champion Bibiano Fernades told MMA Fighting that he is a free agent on Dec. 30 and is looking for a big money contract. Fernandes, 37, was close to a deal with UFC in 2012 but ended up signing with ONE.
FIGHT ANNOUNCEMENT ROUND-UP
-Frankie Saenz vs. Augusto Mendes at UFC Fight Night Phoenix on Jan 15.
-Paul Felder vs. Gilbert Burns at UFC 208 on Feb. 11 from Brooklyn.