It was one of the most gruesome moments in the history of the UFC. There were many theories on how the bout would unfold but none of them included Corey Hill‘s shin bone snapping in half like a tree branch after colliding with the shin of Hartt.
It wasn’t the way the native of Bangor, Maine wanted to win that bout. He felt like his back was up against the wall in the fight with Hill, one more loss would have equaled an uncertain future with the biggest fighting promotion on the planet.
Hartt will finally have his chance to show the world that he’s in the UFC to stay this Saturday evening when he faces off with the Russian-German Dennis Siver. Siver is fresh of of a “Knockout of the Night” performance over Nate Mohr at UFC 93.
After getting his foundation in MMA with Marcus Davis in Maine, Hartt recently made the exodus where he trained at elite gyms such as Cobra Kai and Xtreme Couture. For this bout Hartt has made the trek out to Albuquerque, New Mexico to train with none other than Greg Jackson and his gym of killing machines.
FiveOuncesOfPain.com had the chance to catch up with Dale in the days leading up to what can easily be considered the biggest fight of his young career and discussed being roomies with Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone and Leonard Garcia, walking around Wal-Mart with his face busted up and his desire to ‘punch Siver’s teeth in’.
Cory Brady for FiveOuncesOfPain.com: How are you feeling physically heading into your fight with Dennis Siver?
Dale Hartt: I’m feeling pretty good. I have a few nagging things but that’s normal. My shin was bothering me before my fight with Corey Hill and look how that one turned out.
FiveOuncesOfPain.com: Well if your shin was bothering you before the Corey Hill fight, may I suggest that you bust up your elbow or fist for this one?
Dale Hartt: (Laughs) Mess up my elbow. Yeah, I’ll make sure to go in there with a [expletive] up elbow! If that works I’m going to [expletive] myself up before every fight (laughs).
FiveOuncesOfPain.com: I know you’ve been training with Greg Jackson for this one. How did you end up hooking up with Jackson’s MMA after training at Xtreme Couture for a while?
Dale Hartt: I met Greg once before when Marcus Davis fought in Houston, Texas. I met Greg there at the weigh-ins. I talked to him a couple of times after that and I ended up liking him a lot. Also, Marcus normally corners me, and obviously he won’t be able to corner me because he’s fighting Dan Hardy at the same event that I’m fighting at, so I was trying to figure out who the best cornerman was in the game, and on top of that I like Greg. Everyone is like a family down here. I’m not going to lie to you, Jackson’s is going to be my home.
FiveOuncesOfPain.com: I heard you’ve been rooming with none other than “The Cowboy” Donald Cerrone. How did that end up happening?
Dale Hartt: Yeah, it’s almost like The Ultimate Fighter house. Cowboy and Leonard Garcia have a house and I’ve been staying with them.
FiveOuncesOfPain.com: Both of them are very cool, down to earth guys. How has staying with them been working out for you?
Dale Hartt: Yeah, they’re both phenomenal guys. I didn’t realize how good of training partners they both were until I got here, and they’re both amazing to train with. It’s been unbelievable.
FiveOuncesOfPain.com: You guys ever get into any three way tag team matches in the living room or anything like that?
Dale Hartt: No, not really but I can tell you this though. Cowboy’s cousin lives here and he’s kind of young and dumb. So he’s been talking mad [expletive] about his crazy basketball skills until Cowboy beat him down in basketball and he had to be his slave for a week. He’s been doing push ups all over the place and doing Cowboy’s laundry. I wouldn’t want to be Cowboy’s slave, I can tell you that for sure.
FiveOuncesOfPain.com: Has living there with those guys helped you to stay extra focused on your training for this upcoming bout with Dennis Siver?
Dale Hartt: It’s good because Cowboy had his fight a week ahead of me so we were really focused on that. Everyone just wakes up and trains together so it helps a lot.
FiveOuncesOfPain.com: Going back to that fight with Hill, what ran through your mind when you saw his leg snap? Did it make you kind of sick at all?
Dale Hartt: All I know is that it ruined my buzz. You know, when you fight you get this crazy adrenaline rush and you can just feel all of this crazy [expletive] just flowing through your veins. Even for like three day after I fight I am just the happiest guy on the planet. I’m just so chill and I usually have a smile from ear to ear, and when I saw Corey’s leg it just ruined it for me so I’m kind of pissed at him for that. I felt bad for Corey. I don’t feel guilty, but I feel bad for him. Looking back on it I would have liked to beat him by punching his face in. In this fight I just want to punch Siver’s teeth in. Everybody gets free dental in Germany. Our gameplan is to test his mouthpiece durability.
FiveOuncesOfPain.com: How do you feel you match up with Siver?
Dale Hartt: Well I think I’m going to be a little bigger than him. I’ll be a little taller and probably a little fatter. I think that Dennis is a good kickboxer, he has great kicks, a good overhand right and left hook. He has good takedowns in the clinch and he doesn’t shoot very often but his shot seems pretty nice. That’s kind of where I’m at with him. I think that he’s fit and strong on the ground but he doesn’t really have the best technique necessarily. I think that he’s training with good guys in Las Vegas so I’m sure that he’s improved quite a bit and I’m expecting a tough fight. I’ll bet you money right now that him and I get “Fight of the Night”. I had a dream where him and I get “Fight of the Night”. Plus you get to walk around Wal-Mart with your face all beat up. People are trying to look at you but make it seem like they’re not looking at you, it’s great.
FiveOuncesOfPain.com: Absolutely, I know during sparring from time to time I’ll allow myself to get hit with just a few good ones so I can look like a bad ass at Wal-Mart.
Dale Hartt: (Laughs) You can’t get away with that [expletive] down here, they’ll kill you man. I’m not going to let them hit me.
FiveOuncesOfPain.com: Well yeah, but I’m not training at Greg Jackson’s right now either.
Dale Hartt: Man, I went in tired yesterday and I went a couple of rounds with Joey Villasenor. Just in the first round Joey must have punched me at least thirty times in the face.
FiveOuncesOfPain.com: He’s in full on fight mode right now too. I know he’s training for his upcoming fight with Cyborg, and doesn’t he have something like thirty pounds on you?
Dale Hartt: Yeah, it’s like thirty or forty pounds. He’s a tough guy. Joey’s a great guy too.
FiveOuncesOfPain.com: So I heard Siver has been training at your former gym Xtreme Couture. How do you feel about that.
Dale Hartt: Yeah, I fly out and he flies in, the [expletive]. That’s made me a little irritable, I won’t lie to you.
FiveOuncesOfPain.com: Did he know that you were leaving and that’s why he came to town?
Dale Hartt: I don’t know man, but it was like down to the day. I went to Albuquerque and like three days later he’s in Vegas. The funny thing is that I know that here are probably some guys down there giving him the scoop on me, but I have my buddies down there that are training with him every day telling me everything he’s doing (laughs). I have the camera at Xtreme Couture on him right now and I’m watching him training (laughs). I watch him training every day. I figured out how valuable that little training camera is for someone that’s fighting you.