Earlier this month Dan Hardy lost his job on the UFC broadcast team. Though the full details haven’t been made public, it certainly appears that his termination was due to an interaction with a fellow UFC employee on Fight Island.
Hardy recently appeared on Submission Radio where he discussed that interaction in more detail. During that interview Hardy also expressed that he felt things were odd with the UFC brass ever since his much publicized confrontation with referee Herb Dean, which occurred during UFC on ESPN: Whittaker vs. Till on Fight Island last July.
Hardy and Dean were pictured having a heated exchange after a very late stoppage in a fight between Francisco Trinaldo and Jai Herbert. After Herbert was knocked down and out by Trinaldo, and before Dean called off the fight, Hardy repeatedly yelled, “Stop the fight!”
Hardy believes many people, including UFC President Dana White, have misconceptions over what went down between him and Dean. And that these misconceptions paint him in the worst light possible.
“[Dana and myself] discussed [the Herb Dean incident], but I think his perspective is still that I got out from my seat, took my headset off, went over and I was waiting at the octagon door for Herb to come out,” said Hardy. “Like, I still hear that come up on social media from time to time. And then this troll account was started up that’s pretending to be Herb Dean’s wife. I didn’t even know he was married. I’ve never met his wife. It’s just fed into this weird kind of misinformation. I mean it’s the times that we’re living, isn’t it? The generation of fake news. And that’s the problem, when Dana was asked about it at the press conference, he wasn’t clear about the information that he had. And I still very much feel like Dana feels like I approached Herb. Which I didn’t.”
Hardy said there is clear photographic evidence showing that his confrontation with Dean occurred after Dean approached Hardy’s workstation.
“If you look at the photo, I’ve probably said this a million times. There’s a monitor in front of me that says Dell on the back. That’s my monitor for the fights. And if you look at the photo, it’s Herb’s arm that is over my monitor. I’m standing at my desk, ready to turn around because we’re doing separated interviews. Trinaldo’s already made his way out of the Octagon. So, I’ve got to turn around and face a camera that’s behind me. But in the process of me standing up and taking my headset off to turn around and face the camera, I noticed that Herb is already on his way over to my desk from the octagon. And I know he said that he didn’t know who it was, but that’s nonsense. Because if you watch the end of the fight, you’ll see he turns and he points at me through the cage. Like, he knew it was me that shouted it. Not in the history of the UFC has a fight ever been stopped by the commission yelling ‘stop the fight’.”
Even if this incident played a big role in his eventual firing from the promotion, Hardy said he has no regrets. Furthermore, Hardy doubled-down on criticism for Dean and said he will now enjoy more freedom call out the veteran official.
“So, I’m the stop the fight guy,” said Hardy. “I don’t know if I can swear on your show, but fuck it, I don’t care, because I’m speaking out for something that’s important. And it’s like this weird misinformation that’s happened about it, where I’m like there picking a fight for some kind of personal benefit. It’s just fucking nonsense. Like, what a stupid thing to say.
“Like, I don’t really know Jai Herb. I know him as well as I know Trinaldo. It doesn’t matter if the situation was reversed, it’d be the same situation. And it’s not about Herb, but like, generally we have mistakes made consistently in the sport. ... I mean, you can see now I can speak, so I can say exactly what I like, I don’t get it. Like, he’s working the majority of the events in Las Vegas, he’s considered the gold standard of the sport, but he makes a mistake almost on a weekly basis at this point. Like, who’s gonna call him out on it? I’ll do it. I don’t care.”
Hardy fought for the UFC between 2008 and 2012. He started his Octagon career with a four fight win streak that included memorable wins over Rory Markham and Marcus Davis. That streak earned him a title shot versus then welterweight king Geroges St-Pierre.
Hardy lost to GSP, by unanimous decision, at UFC 111 in 2010. After that he lost to Carlos Condit, Anthony Johnson and Chris Lytle before rebounding with wins over Duane Ludwig and Amir Sadollah.
In 2013 Hardy was booked to face Matt Brown, but he was pulled from the fight after the discovery of a rare heart condition. Hardy has not fought since then, despite his insistence that he is medically cleared to fight.
Hardy told Submission Radio that he is still contracted to the UFC as a fighter and that he is eager to return to action whether it be in a UFC cage or elsewhere.