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Imagine a world where MMA retirements actually last. Is such a thing even possible? We’ll never know. But for Dan Hardy, it’s simple: just don’t retire at all.
The former UFC welterweight title challenger turned color commentator’s career isn’t officially over despite having not fought in what will be a full decade come Sept. 2022. If that was the case and Hardy was done for good, however, he’d go out on a two-fight winning streak with his final two victories coming against Duane “Bang” Ludwig and Amir Sadollah.
Hardy’s hiatus from competing stemmed from his diagnosis of the heart disease Wolff–Parkinson–White syndrome in 2013. The 39-year-old Brit has always expressed interest in returning to action at some point during his time commentating in the UFC but nothing ever came to fruition. He was released from his contract in May 2021 and now hopes to really make some movement towards fighting once again.
“I like to stay in shape,” Hardy told The Schmo. “I keep talking about having a boxing match. That was the first thing that’s on my agenda right now for June. But we’re trying to figure out an opponent at the moment. I’ve had quite a few options but it’s not Tyron Woodley (laughs). He’s fallen off the face of the planet. Never hear from him anymore. So I don’t know, we’ll see. Boxing, maybe. Kickboxing, maybe. Maybe MMA, we’ll see.
“One of the events that you just covered has been in contact in fact so we’ll see where that one goes. No [not bare knuckle]. Spread my wings, you know what I mean? You know what I’m talking about. I can’t tell [the world] yet. I need to have some more conversations, see where I’m going.”
Seeing the fan-favorite knockout artist make his way to the referenced Eagle FC promotion wouldn’t come as much of a surprise considering the many recent notable names signed. Former UFC stalwarts Kevin Lee and Diego Sanchez headlined their most recent event while during fight week it was announced that the likes of Hector Lombard, Thiago Silva, and former heavyweight champion Junior dos Santos will debut in the near future.
Prior to that, another former champion in Rashad Evans ended his four-year retirement to compete, and win, at Eagle FC 44 in January against Gabriel Checco. Surely if “The Outlaw” has his way, he’ll extend his winning streak to three by the end of 2022.
“I’m always gonna tease it,” Hardy said. “I’m never gonna retire. Never ever. I’ll be having these conversations at 60 but hopefully, I will have fought by then (laughs).”
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