Brit Dan Hardy can be seen causing serious waves in the UFC commentary booth but a few years ago, ‘The Outlaw’ was a dangerous contender in the UFC’s stacked welterweight division.
Hardy (25-10 (1) MMA, 6-4 UFC) made his UFC debut back at UFC 89 in October 2008. Hardy earned a four-fight winning streak to get himself a title shot against legend Georges St-Pierre at UFC 111 in March 2010. Hardy then faced a slump of a four-fight losing streak before getting back on track with victories against Duane Ludwig and Amir Sadollah.
Health problems put Hardy’s career on hold in 2013 and he’s been looking for a comeback ever since.
“Always. Absolutely,” Hardy answered when asked if he still thinks about making a comeback. “I sit Octagon-side and I watch these guys all the time and I think to myself, more than anything because I watch my old fights and I see those seams in my old fights and I’m like, I make so many mistakes. I was too heavy in my UFC career. I was talking to my old strength and conditioning coach the other day about this. When I was fighting at welterweight, I was starting training camp at 210. I’m walking around at 180 now. And I would probably still fight at 170, I could make ‘55 if I wanted to, but at 180 I feel like I move like a flyweight. I can kick people in the head no problem with my lead league without thinking about it. Before I was more interested in deadlifting 500 pounds because Anthony Johnson might be standing across from me.
“The sport has changed and unfortunately I got caught up with the trend at the time, which was be an athlete, get big and strong between training camps, boil yourself right down to the biggest you can be, and unfortunately it just didn’t suit my style.”
Hardy believes he’s competitive keeping the current UFC roster in mind and that the world is yet to see the best version of him.
“I think with the shift in the sport, if you look at the welterweight division there’s a lot of lightweights there now,” Hardy said. “There are a lot of guys in the welterweight division that a few years ago probably would have been lightweights. You stand Mike Perry or Colby Covington next to Gleison Tibau and they’re about the same size. And then you look at middleweights as well, we’ve got a former welterweight as the champion. Kelvin Gastelum’s wrecking guys that are bigger than him because he’s got the speed and the power.
” I think there’s a shift in the sport and maybe I got caught up in the wrong time and I’m looking back now thinking I’ve not really shown my best in the UFC and that’s the thing that keeps driving me to have one more fight. Because I feel like I could give much more of a better example of what I’m capable of now.”
Hardy alongwith Michael Bisping will always be considered as pioneers of British MMA.