George Hardwick has built a fearsome reputation as one of Europe’s leading lightweights thanks in no small part to his exploits in Europe’s Leading MMA Organisation over the last few years.
Ahead of his appearance on Dana White’s Contender Series on Tuesday night, what better time to look back at some of the Middlesborough man’s greatest hits in the famous yellow gloves?
CW 124: Versus Dean Trueman
There aren’t many tougher ways to announce yourself to the Cage Warriors lightweight division that facing off with a former world champion.
Battled-tested veteran Dean Trueman welcomed Hardwick to the 155lb weight class when the pair faced off at CW 124 in London’s iconic York Hall.
Setting out his stall to strike with the former champ early, Hardwick sealed the deal with a vicious body blow in the second round.
CW 129: Versus Jakub Dohnal
Hardwick’s sophomore lightweight outing was his first appearance on a Cage Warriors main card, and it was clear that he was looking to leave a lasting impression.
His dance partner for the evening was the Czech Republic’s Jakub Dohnal, an entirely different kind of problem than his previous opponent.
Hardwick came up with the goods against the grappler though, hurting his man in the second round before fishing out a nasty guillotine choke for the victory.
CW 134: Versus Łukasz Kopera
From a suffocating grappler to a hard-nosed brawler; nobody would ever accuse Hardwick of taking the safe options when it comes to his laundry list of CW opponents.
Poland’s Łukasz Kopera is known for his ability to drag even the most patient of strikers into bloody brawls, but he may have got a little more than he bargained for when he tried to mix it up with the Middlesborough man.
Putting his clinch game to good work, Hardwick pulled off a third consecutive second round stoppage with a series of beautiful knees.
CW 141: Versus Kyle Driscoll
This was the big one, the main event of a huge Cage Warriors card at London’s indigo as part of a double-header with the UFC.
It was a huge weekend for MMA in the UK, and Hardwick turned in a performance befitting of the occasion.
Driscoll defied conventional wisdom, coming out to strike with his fellow challenger, and George was more than happy to oblige.
After hurting his man to the body in the third round, he came out fired-up in the fourth, stopping the American to keep the lightweight title on UK soil.
CW 147: Chris Bungard
From a huge crowd at London’s indigo to the more intimate setting of the BT Sports Studios, Hardwick’s first defence of his title came against Scottish battler Chris Bungard.
The pair tangled for the best part of two competitive rounds, but it was another patented body shot just over four-and-half minutes into the second that ensured the gold would travel back to Middlesborough.
CW 152: Versus Yann Liasse
Hardwick’s final performance in the famous yellow gloves might just be his finest work.
The challenger, Luxembourg’s Yann Liasse, was unbeaten in his last six contests, having faced some serious competition along the way.
It was all for naught when the cage door slammed shut though, as Hardwick started slamming away with punch after picture-perfect punch.
After wobbling Liasse badly, the champion was relentless, pouring on the pressure with a torrent of unanswered punches to close the show and send the crowd home happy.
Hardwick will now take centre stage on Week 2 of Dana White’s Contender Series, competing in front of the man himself for a UFC contract.
Fans can catch all the action from midnight (GMT) tonight, live on UFC Fight Pass!