Dan Hardy returns to the UFC -- just not as a fighter.
"The Outlaw" will instead provide commentary for six UFC Fight Night events that will air only on the promotion's new Fight Pass digital network.
Don't let the Brit's red mohawk and often over-the-top quotes fool you, Hardy was always among the friendliest fighters around. He hasn't fought in about 18 months after being diagnosed with Wolff-Parkinson-White syndrome, a heart disorder characterized by the presence of an extra, abnormal electrical pathway in the heart that can lead to a faster heartbeat at times.
So, as much as Hardy wants to fight again -- he said he still trains -- the closest he'll get to the octagon is sitting outside of it talking about what's going on inside.
Which leads us to this: his quote in the press release announcing the news last Friday. As far as quotes in press releases go, this is one of the better ones I've seen, and one of the few that is truly worth its cutting and pasting here:
“If we only look at my 6-4 record in the UFC, I’ve done it all," he said. "I’ve knocked people out and I’ve been knocked out. I’ve headlined huge Pay-Per-Views and I’ve fought on the prelims. I’ve fought guys I liked and respected, and I’ve fought in grudge matches. I’ve been in every high-pressure situation a fighter can find himself in, from challenging a pound-for-pound champion like Georges St-Pierre, to fighting in my hometown with all my family and friends in the front row, to fighting to stay in the UFC when I was 0-4 a couple of years ago."
All of that is true. And if you stop for a moment to contemplate the wild spectrum Hardy's career entailed, it's quite impressive.