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Dan Hardy names Donald Cerrone, Anthony Pettis as potential opponents for UFC return

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Dan Hardy is eyeing fights against fellow veterans upon his UFC return.

Dan Hardy gets his request granted as he confirms his release from the UFC. Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images

These days, Dan Hardy is mostly pre-occupied with his analyst duties for the UFC. But that doesn’t mean that “The Outlaw” isn’t thinking about making a comeback, and it’s something he’s discussed a few times in the past.

Speaking recently with ESPN, the 37-year-old UFC veteran named two fighters he intends to face upon his return.

“First and foremost, I’m an analyst now. I’m a commentator, so I don’t want to fight someone that’s on a trajectory to a title shot,” he said (transcript by MMA Mania). “Because, I’m not interested in stepping in there and upsetting any kind of rankings, involving myself in those conversations.

“The people I’ve had conversations about fighting, obviously (Donald) “Cowboy” (Cerrone) is near the top of the list, cause he’d be a great pick. Anthony Pettis, that’s a fight I’ve discussed with Felder, he’s discussed with Anthony. That’s a fight we’d both like to happen.”

Hardy, who’d previously challenged Georges St-Pierre for the welterweight title, last set foot inside the Octagon in 2012, when he won a decision against Amir Sadollah. He retired in 2013 after being diagnosed with a rare heart condition known as Wolff–Parkinson–White syndrome, but was medically cleared to return to competition in 2017.