Dan Hardy was relieved of his UFC duties recently. All the details around his firing have not been made public. However, there have been vague statements made regarding an incident or argument with a UFC employee that occurred on ‘Fight Island’ in Abu Dhabi.
Hardy recently appeared on Submission Radio, where he shared a little bit of his side of the story.
“The incident in fight island, it was a disagreement between myself and another employee of the UFC who, I just feel was, the person was being obstructive in helping me do my job,” said Hardy. “And I asked the person why, and I felt like I was told a falsehood, which I called them out on. And that’s my side of it.”
“I wasn’t aggressive, I wasn’t insulting towards her, I wasn’t threatening in anyway,” he continued. “That’s just not who I am. I was forthright and I was to the point, and I asked the question about why opportunities were not getting through to me when they previously had done for the past few years ... Obviously, there was frustration attached to that, because my job is to promote the sport and build the sport as much as I can. And these were media opportunities that I felt would be beneficial for, especially for my region, for the UK. So, obviously there was a little frustration there, but that was it. It was purely a disagreement. I think the aftermath of it is a much more about my calling the person out on not speaking the truth to me and the people present, colleagues of ours.”
Hardy did concede that he could have handled this situation better and that the whole thing may have been intensified by him putting an individual on the spot in front of an audience.
“I could have had the conversation in a different place, without there being other people there. But I’m not a corporate individual. I’m a fighter that put on a shirt and tie and did a grown-up’s job. I’m still a kid, and I don’t play these corporate games where people are watching out for their jobs and, ‘oh, you know’, it’s just not me. And I just talk to everybody the same. I’m to the point. That’s how I am.”
Hardy said he felt this interaction with the unnamed UFC employee represented a “deterioration of a relationship”. He said he doesn’t understand why that happened.
News of Hardy’s firing came out via Dave Meltzer’s The Wrestling Observer. Hardy told Submission Radio that the manner in which people found out about he and the UFC parting ways was upsetting. However, ‘The Outlaw’ did say that there were plenty of positives to no longer being a ZUFFA employee.
“I mean, it’s just an awkward situation,” he said. “And it’s frustrating, because I find myself outside of the UFC now. But at the same time, I don’t know… the last few weeks have just felt so much lighter and freer.
“I can just cover combat sports now. And there was kind of a weird lag between having the call with the UFC where they decided we were going to part ways, and the news breaking. And the way it was broken was rather hurtful. And I don’t know how or why or whether it was intentional or coincidental for clickbait or whatever. But the way that it was worded just insinuated so much more than it actually was. And I had colleagues there, people that I work with, that I’m still working with now that were there, that were witness to it. And I don’t know, it’s just a very frustrating situation.”
Despite everything that has gone down in the past few months Hardy said he is still open to some sort of reconciliation with the UFC. He also said that he hopes UFC President Dana White does not have a negative impression of him moving forwards.
“I love the UFC. I always will. I’ll always be a huge fan of the UFC, and it’s been a big part of my career and a big part of my life ... And I have nothing against the UFC or Dana or anything like that. Of course, if they called me up and they’re like, hey, parachute in on a union jack flag for [UFC] 261, I’d be there in a heartbeat. It’s just a weird place, cause I just kind of don’t know exactly what’s happened. And my concern is that Dana’s got a perspective of the situation that’s not true. And that’s what concerns me more than anything. Like, I could not sit octagon-side ever again, as long as Dana doesn’t have this misconception of who I am. Because that would really frustrate me.”
After challenging Georges St-Pierre for the UFC welterweight title in 2010, Hardy’s fighting career inside the Octagon was cut short just three years later. That’s when he was diagnosed with the heart condition Wolff—Parkinson—White pattern. Despite Hardy later claiming he was medically fit to return to fighting the UFC, who he is still contracted to as a fighter, has not been willing to book him.
Shortly after his forced exit from fighting Hardy began working on UFC broadcasts out of the UK. In recent years Hardy’s role expanded to see him covering shows for the UFC across the world mostly opposite John Gooden.