The last time we all saw “The Outlaw” Dan Hardy inside the UFC cage was in September 2012. Then 30 years old, the one-time welterweight title challenger picked up his second straight win against Amir Sadollah in his hometown of Nottingham, England.
Hardy put his career on hold the following year after he was diagnosed with Wolff-Parkinson-White syndrome, a heart condition. He had since taken on commentary duties for the UFC, mostly covering events outside the US.
The 38-year-old parted ways with the UFC in March, reportedly following an untoward incident with an employee. Now, he’s also calling for the termination of his fighter contract, which remained active despite his hiatus.
“The only thing that’s happened is I’ve asked two different people for my release from the UFC,” Hardy told Submission Radio in a recent interview. “Because, obviously with one contract coming to an end, it makes sense for me to leave with my fight contract as well.
“So, I’m currently trying to get my release from the UFC so I can start looking at other places. I’ve got a few ideas and a few options that I’d like to consider but getting a hold of someone [has been hard]. I might have to recruit Joshua Fabia to get someone’s attention at some point.”
“I think it even if it got to a stage where I could get the UFC to give me an opponent, it’s not gonna be the ones I want. They’re not matching veterans with veterans anymore, they’re matching veterans with the new guys coming up so that they can build the next name.
“And I’m not interested in fighting someone that nobody knows. Like, Cowboy, Matt Brown. They would never in a million years give me the Nick Diaz fight. They’ll use Nick Diaz to build somebody else up. And I just don’t want to be in that situation. Plus, my fight contract is what, eight years old? So, you can imagine the numbers on it. It’s rather embarrassing.”
Hardy’s last disclosed purse was from 2012, and it paid him $25,000 to show and $25,000 to win in his 9th fight with the UFC.
Even at his age, Hardy isn’t looking at retirement just yet. If he does get granted his release, he’s looking to take his talents somewhere in the far east.
“I’d love to fight in Japan,” he said. “I’ve always been a big fan of Japan. You know, RIZIN, ONE championship are doing amazing things.
“I actually think that would be a great place for Diego [Sanchez] to go. They’ve got Shinya Aoki floating around there that’s what, got 47 wins on his record? I’d like to see Diego against Aoki. That’d be an interesting one.
“But as soon as that UFC door closed, so many other doors opened. And different options, not even just MMA. I’ve got other things that I would consider as well. The world’s much bigger than I actually realized, I think.
“So, now I’ve started looking at these other organizations and different weight classes as well. I mean, I could jump into some of these at middleweight and light heavyweight and fancy my chances. We’ll see what happens.”
Back in February, Hardy was entertaining the idea of fighting fellow veteran Matt Brown. Nothing came to fruition and Brown ended up signing for a bout with Dhiego Lima, whom he faces on June 19.