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Dan Hardy intends to compete in boxing by end of 2021

Sounds like ‘The Outlaw’ is focusing on boxing in his eventual return to action. 

Dan Hardy during broadcast duties on UFC Fight Island in 2020.
Dan Hardy during broadcast duties on UFC Fight Island in 2020.
Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images

Dan Hardy could step into the squared circle by the end of the year.

The former one-time UFC welterweight title challenger turned broadcast analyst asked for — and received — his release from the promotion he has worked under for the better part of a decade earlier this month. Hardy had been teasing a return to mixed martial arts competition for quite some time, but was unable to secure a fight under the UFC banner. He previously entertained potential fights with fan favorites such as Matt Brown and Nick Diaz to no effect.

Once Hardy was completely released from his UFC contract, he started to shift his focus to other well-known promotions that could serve as a new home. Both RIZIN and ONE Championship were in the sights of Hardy, who already had the names of fighters he would like to share the ring and/or cage with. Those were not his only options, however.

Hardy told Submission Radio in May that he had a lot of “different options, not even just MMA” for his first post-UFC appearance. And now we know what he meant by that as he recently revealed to Mike Swick on the “Real Quick with Mike Swick” podcast that he could very well compete in boxing soon.

“I’ve had a few people message me and ask me to see if I’m interested in doing this and that, but the best offer right now looks like boxing,” said Hardy. “So I might look at doing a boxing match towards the end of the year and then maybe see where MMA is next year.

“I’d like to have another MMA fight. Maybe on your side of the world, though.”

It does not appear as though anything is set in stone just yet, but Hardy has begun training for the opportunity.

Hardy has not competed since winning a unanimous decision over Amir Sadollah at UFC on Fuel TV: Struve vs. Miocic in 2012. He was expected to fight again months after the Sadollah win but was pulled from it after he was diagnosed with Wolff-Parkinson-White syndrome, which is a rare heart condition that causes an abnormally fast heartbeat.

Hardy completed his UFC run on a two-fight win streak that saw his overall professional record extend to 25-10-1.