Dan Hardy Requests UFC Release, Would Love To Fight In Japan
After parting ways with the UFC as an analyst in March, Dan Hardy now wants to also cut ties with the promotion as a fighter.
Hardy was relieved from his duties as a UFC analyst in March, after he allegedly got into an argument with an employee on Fight Island in Abu Dhabi. The former welterweight title challenger was willing to mend ties with the promotion, but the UFC didn’t appear to be on the same page as him.
Ending All Ties With The UFC
While he’s no longer a UFC analyst, ‘The Outlaw’ still has an active fight contract with the promotion. Speaking to Submission Radio (as transcribed by MMA Fighting) however, Hardy said that he is seeking to be released by the promotion.
“The only thing that’s happened is I’ve asked two different people for my release from the UFC,” Hardy said. “Because obviously with one contract coming to an end, it would make sense for me to leave with my fight contract as well. So I’m currently trying to get my release from the UFC so then I can start looking at other places.
“I’ve got a few ideas and a few options that I’d like to consider. But it’s just getting a hold of someone, I might have to recruit Joshua Fabia to get someone’s attention at some point.”
Not Interested In Fighting Someone Nobody Knows
Before losing his analyst job with the UFC, Hardy had expressed an interest in fighting Nick Diaz and Matt Brown. However, even if the promotion were to give him one last fight, the 38 year old doesn’t believe he would be matched up with the kind of opponent he’s looking for.
“I think even if it got to the stage where I could get the UFC to give me an opponent, it’s not going to be one of the ones I want,” Hardy said. “They’re not matching veterans with veterans anymore. They’re matching veterans with the new guys coming up so they can build the next name and I’m not interested in fighting someone that nobody knows.
“‘Cowboy,’ Matt Brown, they would never in a million years give me the Nick Diaz fight. They would use Nick Diaz to build somebody else up. I just don’t want to be in that situation. Plus, my fight contract is, what, eight years old? So you can imagine the numbers on it, it’s rather embarrassing.”
RIZIN FF? ONE Championship?
The Brit can’t negotiate with other promotions as long as he’s under contract with the UFC. But in an ideal world, he would love to compete in Japan in RIZIN FF or ONE Championship. Hardy also believes ONE would be a good fit for Diego Sanchez, who has recently been released by the UFC.
“I’d love to fight in Japan,” Hardy said. “I’ve always been a fan of Japan. RIZIN, ONE Championship are doing amazing things. I actually think that would be a great place for Diego to go. They’ve got Shinya Aoki floating around there that has, what, 47 wins on his record? I’d like to see Diego against Aoki, that would be an interesting one.
“But just as soon as that UFC door closed, so many other doors opened, and different options, not even just MMA. I’ve got other things I would consider as well. The world’s much bigger than I actually realised, I think, so now I’m starting to look at these other organisations, and different weight classes as well. I could jump into some of these at middleweight and light heavyweight and fancy my chances. We’ll see what happens.”
In the last month, Hardy has previewed and reviewed ONE on TNT 4 on ONE Championship’s YouTube channel.
Hardy hasn’t competed since 2012, when he was diagnosed with Wolff–Parkinson–White syndrome. However, the Nottingham native has now been medically cleared to fight and has expressed a desire to compete in one final fight.
Would you like to see Dan Hardy have his swan song in ONE Championship?