This past weekend, in the co-main event of ‘UFC Fight Night: Sacramento’, UFC prospects Sage Northcutt & Mickey Gall stepped into the Octagon for a highly anticipated showdown. Although Northcutt went into the fight with quite a bit more experience, it was the grappling of Gall that proved to be the difference maker.
In the second round, Gall managed to secure a rear-naked choke to win the fight, and cement his place in the UFC after his previous wins over Mike Jackson and CM Punk. In his post-fight Octagon interview, Gall called out MMA veteran Dan Hardy, who is reportedly looking to make his return to the Octagon after being diagnosed with a heart condition in 2013.
During a recent joint-interview with MMAFighting, Hardy responded to Gall’s callout, saying:
“I almost spat my tea out of my mouth when I was watching it,” Hardy said in a joint interview with Gall on Monday’s edition of The MMA Hour. “It was like four o’clock in the morning when I was watching, and I just wasn’t expecting it. I appreciate the callout. I appreciate the respect that you’ve shown me. But I’ve never fought anybody with less than eight fights, not even in my first pro fight. It’s just, we’re in different phases of our careers.
“I’m not looking at knocking off a future contender that I’m possibly going to be commentating for in the future. And at the same time, if I was going to fight, I want to fight a veteran,” Hardy explained (via MMA Fighting). “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.”
“I like to see the development of these young fighters and I don’t want to interfere with that in any way. I’m 10 years older.”
Gall, who was also on the interview, responded to Hardy declining his challenge in a gracious manner, saying:
“He has a right to feel that way,” Gall said to Hardy in response. “I respect that too. That’s cool. You’re a legend. It would’ve been an honor to fight you. That’s cool, man. I love you, Dan.”