Dan Hardy vs. Duane Ludwig Booked for May’s UFC 146 in Las Vegas

Duane Ludwig (UFC)

Welterweights added to Memorial Day weekend card

Four straight losses in the UFC usually means a pink slip. Dan Hardy survived four straight setbacks, which makes his next fight pretty much a must-win.

Hardy, a former welterweight title challenger, will face Duane Ludwig on May 26 at UFC 146 in Las Vegas. UFC officials recently announced the fight booking for the promotion’s annual Memorial Day weekend pay-per-view in Las Vegas, which will take place at the MGM Grand Garden Arena.

Though not officially announced by the UFC, the targeted main event of the card is a heavyweight title fight between champion Junior dos Santos and top contender Alistair Overeem. UFC CEO Lorenzo Fertitta recently said on his Twitter feed that event was the plan for dos Santos’ first defense of the belt he took from Cain Velasquez in November. Overeem, the former Strikeforce heavyweight champion, beat former UFC champ Brock Lesnar in December to become the No. 1 contender.

Hardy (23-10, 1 NC, 4-4 UFC) started his UFC career 4-0, earning a shot at champion Georges St-Pierre at UFC 111. But despite surviving several submission attempts, Hardy came out on the wrong end of a lopsided unanimous decision. He followed that up with a knockout loss to urrent interim welterweight champ Carlos Condit – his first knockout loss in 31 fights.

Hardy tried to snap his first losing streak in four years last March against Anthony Johnson, but was outwrestled and lost a 30-27 sweep of the judges’ scorecards for his third straight setback. And last August, he drew a tough assignment – Chris Lytle‘s retirement match. After two rounds of a slugfest, Hardy got caught in a guillotine late in the third round and was forced to tap. A Fight of the Night bonus was only a small silver lining, and Hardy said at  the post-fight news conference he was going to take an extended time off to regroup and figure out if he wanted to remain in the sport. Now that answer is known.

Ludwig (21-12, 4-3 UFC) is coming off a submission loss to Josh Neer at UFC on FX: Guillard vs. Miller last month in Nashville, Tenn. That loss snapped a two-fight winning streak that saw him pick up decision wins over Nick Osipczak and Amir Sadollah. Those two wins had him back on track after losing his first two fights in his return to the UFC.

Though officials did not announce the placement of the Hardy-Ludwig fight on the card, it is likely to be part of the main pay-per-view card. Other fights already announced for the card include a middleweight fight between Jason “Mayhem” Miller and C.B. Dollaway and a lightweight fight between Evan Dunham and Edson Barboza.