The last time former UFC welterweight title contender Dan Hardy stepped inside the Octagon was in September 2012 in his hometown of Nottingham, England. Coming off of a knockout win against Duane Ludwig, “The Outlaw” scored a unanimous decision win over Amir Sadollah.
Hardy was forced to the sidelines in 2013, after being suddenly diagnosed with Wolff-Parkinson-White Syndrome, a heart condition. A year later, he was hired by the UFC to be the color commentator for its Europe events, alongside play-by-play broadcaster John Gooden.
Now 35 years of age, Hardy has yet to officially receive clearance from his doctors to resume his fighting career. But even so, he has already laid out some conditions for his potential comeback which involves a new weight class.
“If I was gonna come back, I’d want a name,” Hardy told MMANytt (transcript via MMAFighting). “There’s a lot of guys in the lightweight division I would look at, there’s a lot of guys in the welterweight division I would look at.
“If I had my own choice I would take a fight at 161 [pounds] or 162 [pounds] and have that as a new weight class. There’s a need for a weight class in between those two weight classes and part of the resistance is Dana [White] doesn’t want to move the welterweight division to 175 [pounds], and I absolutely agree but that 161/162 weight class would be perfect for the guys moving up to welterweight or down to lightweight. For me, I would fight anybody in that weight class.”
Hardy also gave a possible date for his return, which he intends to happen at one of the biggest annual UFC events since 2016.
“I like Madison Square Garden. I know there’s a November card coming up and there’s still time to get on that,” Hardy said. “If the offer is right, and everything moves in that direction, if not, maybe early next year.”
Hardy was originally scheduled to face Matt Brown in April 2013 but was forced out of the fight due to his medical condition.