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With Brown booked, Dan Hardy says ‘over-celebrated’ Nick Diaz is ‘priority’ for UFC return

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Dan Hardy wants to fight a Diaz brother.

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

Dan Hardy has been calling for a bout against Matt Brown, but with the latter just being booked against Dhiego Lima, the UFC color-commentator now has his eyes set on different opponents. Hardy says he has a “hit list” of 15 names.

Well, I just saw today that (Brown has) been matched with Lima. So, I don’t know what’s going on there,” Hardy told Submission Radio.

“I’m trying to get in contact with the UFC and it’s proving very difficult at the moment. So, social media is the best way of going about it. That’s my 15 names on my list. That’s my hit list. But there’s a list there of 15 guys there that at any point in the next couple of years I’d be happy to fight. And that I’d be very much appreciative of their competition as well, cause they’re all formidable individuals and all people that feel like I could find a way to beat. Which very much excites me. So, I’ll work down the list. I mean, Matt Brown is the one I want, cause he makes sense.”

If he had his way, Hardy would want his UFC return to be against Nick Diaz.

“Nick Diaz is my priority. I mean, a Diaz brother would be great, just cause I love their vibe, I love their trash talk and I think I could get inside their head the way they get inside other people’s head. And I always think their game has been, you know, over-celebrated, shall we say? They’re good, but they’re not technically great. They’re kind of sloppy. They’ve got good Jiu Jitsu of course, but they don’t have any means of getting you to the ground without slapping the hell out of you like they did McGregor.

“I just think the Diaz brothers have got such a name, and Nick’s been out for so long. And this is the thing that people forget. Like, he’s been out in the bars in Vegas, and I’ve been sitting octagon-side studying the sport and watching it grow. I feel like I’ve been absorbing souls. Like what’s his name off Mortal Kombat. Every fight I’ve watched I’ve absorbed something from it. And I do it on a daily basis. I watched the Canelo fight against Yildirim 12 times yesterday and I got a lot from that. Like, the amount of information in my brain. If I can communicate 10 percent of that into any combat sport, I’m feeling confident I could beat every single name on that list.”

Both Diaz and Hardy have been out of competition for years, so if both of these former welterweight title contenders are really returning, the match up does make some sense. Diaz, 37, hasn’t competed since his no-contest (originally a decision loss) with Anderson Silva in 2015. Hardy on the other hand, is 38, and has been out since his win over Amir Sadollah in 2012.

Although not all of them are very realistic match ups at this point, the other names on Hardy’s list include Carlos Condit, Conor McGregor, Dustin Poirier, Tony Ferguson, Diego Sanchez, Donald Cerrone, Rafael dos Anjos, and Anthony Pettis.