In anticipation of Hardwick’s March 17th bout vs Shoaib Yousaf, ‘Houdini’ took the time to speak with Frank Bonada of LowKick MMA. During this interview, Hardwick addressed a handful of topics including how active he would like to be in 2023, his upcoming opponent Yousaf, a potential UFC call-up, and much more.
Hardwick Reflects on His Most Recent Victory
On November 4th at Cage Warriors 145, Harry Hardwick met experienced Featherweight Steve Aimable in the cage and showcased a dominant Unanimous Decision win. When asked about his thoughts on this fight, Hardwick realistically answered:
“I feel like in a lot of ways it was my best performance to date against arguably my toughest competition… The mistakes tended to be where I let him off the hook or where I let him get back into the fight… I was beating him to a pulp, and I could’ve done a bit more to not let him under my hips… It was a good performance and then the third round I got a little bit sloppy. Other than that, I would say it’s my best performance to date, I’m just generally very negative about myself.”
The fight vs Aimable was Hardwick’s second and final fight of 2022, and he feels that in 2023 he must be more active in taking on a larger quantity of fights:
“I’ll put my number one contender status on the line, I just want to fight people. Last year I wasn’t active enough I only had two fights, that’s not enough. I want three and ideally four this year if I can. [After the fight with Shoaib Yousaf] Maybe get two in the summer, and one towards the end of the year. That’s what I want.”
Hardwick on his Upcoming Opponent Shoaib Yousaf
Further along in the interview, Hardwick was asked to analyze his next opponent Shoaib Yousaf. The fight between the two will take place at Indigo at the O2 in London for Cage Warriors 150. Hardwick had this to say about the matchup with Yousaf:
“He seems to be very tough; he seems to be very good at the fundamentals in a lot of areas. I would say the only thing that really jumps off the page is his clinch. He’s a decent kicker, boxing’s alright, wrestling’s there, you know just good all around. But his clinch and his sweeps in the clinch are really good. I think he’ll be a tough one to get out of there… I feel like I can definitely out strike him, just need to be wary of a few things. My footwork’s better than his, he might do more footwork but mine’s better… And I know for a fact that my endurance is better than his.”
Harry Hardwick Eyes a Near Future in the UFC
In his last four fights in Cage Warriors, Hardwick boasts an unbeaten record containing three victories and one draw. As a fighter on the rise in the promotion, Hardwick believes that he is UFC caliber. When asked if he would rather take a Cage Warriors Title Fight or a UFC offer, he plainly responded:
“Probably the UFC offer, yeah. I live in my mum and dad’s loft I need money. I need that money and also the way I fight and the way George [Hardwick] fights as well, we fight in a way where we get bonuses. So yeah, it would be the UFC thing.”
Promptly after this statement, Harry continued on about a possible opponent for his UFC debut and a harsh analysis of the current state of the UFC Featherweight division:
“Cage Warriors Featherweight division is very stacked. There was a Featherweight fight in the UFC on the prelims… it was f****** dreadful. Neither of those guys would have won a round against the top five in the Cage Warriors Featherweight division. It’s easier to get into the UFC if you’re American. There’s these substandard people over there fighting each other in terrible fights on the prelims, whereas the UFC should be looking at Cage Warriors more… But as far as first opponent, Darren Elkins.”
Harry Hardwick will take on Shoaib Yousaf at Cage Warriors 150 in London, which is set to be an absolute banger of a card. Look out for Hardwick and other UFC-worthy fighters on this card as Cage Warriors’ talent continues to rise.
Watch the full interview with Harry Hardwick below: