By now, most UFC fans have grown accustomed to listening to Mike Goldberg and Joe Rogan, as well as the current Fox Sports 1 duo of Jon Anik and Kenny Florian. You can add a 3rd commentary pairing to the fold, and it'll be an all-British tandem. Yesterday at the UFC 170 Q&As, the UFC announced former welterweight title challenger Dan Hardy as color commentator for UFC Fight Pass events, alongside play-by-play (kick-by-kick? Blow-by-blow? Teep-by-teep?) man John Gooden of Cage Warriors FC. Here are some of Hardy's thoughts via press release:
Hardy's first assignment at Octagonside will come on March 8, when he will be calling the action at the same O2 Arena in London where he twice competed as a UFC welterweight contender.
The Briton said: "I'm very excited to be putting on the headset for the UFC. I've got the same nerves and butterflies that I had when I first signed for the company as a fighter back in 2008. I think I can bring a great perspective to the color commentator's role. Researching and breaking down UFC fighters and fights is what I've been doing for over 10 years now, only now I am not just concentrating on my own division, but every division. I think I bring a different perspective to the role. Not only have I fought and trained with some of the best fighters in the world, I think I've had one of the most varied careers in the history of the UFC.
Gooden and Hardy will commentate on six upcoming Fight Pass shows originating from Europe and the Middle East, so that includes the aforementioned London card, return to Abu Dhabi, plus planned shows in Poland, Germany, Ireland, and Sweden.
While Hardy hasn't officially retired from MMA, a rare heart condition has put his fighting career in jeopardy. Outside the cage, Hardy has never been shy to voice his opinion on various topics and fighters surrounding the sport, and I certainly think that an analyst position suits him very well.
If you haven't heard Gooden before, he's the long time voice of Cage Warriors in the UK with an excellent grasp of the sport, and you can view/hear a sampling of his work on Conor McGregor's KO win of Ivan Buchinger in the video below.
In addition to Gooden and Hardy, fellow Brit Andy Friedlander has been hired as ring announcer, and he'll join them in London for their debuts on the Gustafsson vs. Manuwa event.