If you have ever been to a live MMA event, the ring or cage announcer can make a world of difference in the type of experience you have. MMA is a sport, but it is also entertainment. The leader in Southern MMA announcing is David Hardy Jr., known simply as “Dynamite.”
Just like with fighters, every announcer has to start somewhere. “I’ve been behind the microphone since high school, 1992-1996 at Ponchatoula (LA) High School. i was doing PA announcing for the basketball and football teams,” Hardy told MMA Sucka.
“I also did basketball at Hammond (LA) High School for two years back then as well. I got into ring announcing about 12 years ago. I was a vehicle salesman at Rainbow Luxury Imports in Covington, Louisiana and sold a gentleman and his wife an Infinity QX56 SUV.”
Hardy certainly made a strong impression.
“Well during the process be began commenting on my voice and asked if I liked the ‘ultimate fighting stuff’ that was becoming somewhat popular at the time. I told him yes and I was a big fan. He then began to tell me how he had a cage fighting promotion in New Orleans and needed an MC and asked if I was interested. Having always enjoyed being behind the mic, I said yes!”
“Dynamite” had a very memorable first experience inside the cage. “One of, if not the first, events I ever did for RMMA (Renaissance MMA) was in Mandeville, LA. It was also the first amateur fight of former LSU fullback Shawn Jordan. I was so pumped as just about the whole LSU national championship team escorted Shawn to the cage that night.”
Love of the Art
You cannot go anywhere in the South to a combat sports event without hearing the voice of “Dynamite.” His appearances range from MMA, to boxing, to even bodybuilding and high school events to this day. Arguably his brightest sports moment to date was ring announcing the ShoBox on Showtime boxing card which took place on January 11, 2019, in Shreveport, LA.
“The event was broadcast in the entire US, parts of Mexico, and the entry country of South Africa! Meeting and spending time with the next big boxing superstar Devin Haney, Floyd Mayweather Sr., Hall of Fame referees Richard Steele and Joe Cortez was a night I won’t soon forget!” Dynamite told MMA Sucka.
“Going down memory lane I forget some of the awesome events and people I’ve been blessed to be around! I’m like a kid every time I do it. There is nothing I love more than being behind the mic, entertaining and making people smile.” Dynamite said. He has been the voice for several Bayou Fighting Championship events. Bayou FC is owned and operated by legendary kickboxer Joe Ancona and former UFC star Tim Credeur. It is also considered one of the top promotions in the South.
Dynamite also donates his times for such events as the St. Tammany Parish Special Olympics, Homeless Veterans groups, and so much more. “I am just hoping one day I can be an entertainment talent of some kind, anything with a microphone for a living someday.” On top of his many announcing duties, Dynamite works a “9 to 5” job and is a family man.
Dynamite Saves the Day at Bayou FC 34
As usual, “Dynamite” was set to announce another Bayou Fighting Championship event, this one being Bayou FC 34: Lafayette on January 18, 2019. As most sporting events start, everyone stood for the national anthem. After a very long delay “Dynamite” realized the DJ was having audio issues and was unable to get The Star Spangled Banner to play. Jumping into action, “Dynamite” sang the national anthem with amazing pride and sound quality. The biggest standing ovation of the night went to “Dynamite.”
Many announcers in the sports world today cannot even draw up half the list “Dynamite” can produce. He has announced MMA events for Renaissance MMA, Atlas Fights, WFC, Caged Warriors Championship, Global Fighting Alliance, Friction Fighting Championship, American Kombat Alliance, and Bayou Fighting Championship, to name a few. “Dynamite” has also ring announced major boxing events such as the WBC women’s lightweight title fight in 2013 and ShoBox on Showtime in January of 2019.
His mic skills span all sports with appearances at several national and international bodybuilding events and the NCAA Final Four Capitol City Fan Fest from 2013 to 2017. He also was the PA announcer for the 2014 NBA All-Star Jam Session legends game and Gatorade Youth Classic.
Before picking up a much heavier MMA/boxing announcing load, Dynamite was a radio play by play announcer for the 2012-2013 Allstate Sugar Bowl Prep Classic and the 94.7-FM High School Football Game of the Week play by play commentary. This list will continue to grow with hopefully a major MMA organization attached after all of the work Hardy has put into the sport.
Thoughts From the Best Fighters in the South
On the outside of the cage, “Dynamite” is an amazing addition to any show. But what is “Dynamite” like to those inside the cage preparing for battle? Several of the South’s and Louisiana’s best sounded off on what it’s like to hear this man announce your name.
Nakia Brown, a multi-organization undefeated featherweight champion and one of the top fighters in the South commented on a “Dynamite” introduction. “Anytime he announces my name I’m like, ‘Dang, he makes me sound like I’m world champion.’ He’s just awesome at what he does. No one does it better.”
Arguably Louisiana’s most popular female fighter, Sarah Davila, expressed Dynamite making her dream come true. “I have been around the Louisiana MMA scene for nearly a decade. To finally hear him announcing my name for my fights is an absolute dream come true! Especially in my last fight, when he called me Sarah “Wonder Woman” Davilia. It was perfect and I was hyped up for my fight like I have never been.”
The South’s Rising Star
A fighter on the verge of main-organizational breakout, Brant Moore, stated what Dynamite means to him. ” Man, Dynamite has one of the best possible voices for announcing fighting. He really knows how to get the crowd hyped for a fight.” Dynamite has announced many of Moore’s MMA bouts and even a last minute boxing bout he took in April 2019.
Gladiators Academy, led by former UFC star Tim Credeur, are also fans of “Dynamite” on the mic. Bayou Fighting Championship pro featherweight champion, Tyrek Malveaux stated, “Dynamite is exactly what his name says! He’s the same way when he has a normal conversation. Just a big ball of energy when I hear him say ‘It’s go time!’ It gives you chills like somebody is about to get the business!”
Abram Sellers, former Bayou Fighting Championship bantamweight champion who relinquished to turn pro, enjoys the “Dynamite” introduction as well. “Dynamite’s the best. Every time I see him he’s always keeping the same positive energy. I’ve heard other announcers and been announced by other MC’s. They just don’t bring the same passion as he does. When he’s in there whenever he calls my name I get pumped and I know it’s time to throw down!”
More Gladiators Academy with Their Thoughts
Another popular Southern professional fighter, Justin Mead, stated his thoughts on Dynamite. “No one comes close to the intensity and excitement Dynamite brings to the cage! You can feel the electricity in the air when he starts talking. Also he controls the pace and the tempo for the night as he has found a comfortable balance and timing. Other announcers feel rushed and forced. He is the best MC I have ever had the pleasure of working with in my 14 fights. He has been on the scene right there with me this past decade. I look forward to many more years of him doing his thing while I’m doing mine!”
Just recently making his professional debut, AJ Fletcher, who had an amazing Louisiana amateur career, had nothing but great things to say about Dynamite. “I get hyped up when I hear Dynamite, our announcer. The guy brings a different kind of energy and humor to the shows that can’t be matched. The way he announces your name instantly gets you ready to go out there and put on a show. Not to mention, there are not too many announcers who will sing the national anthem on the spot like he did for one of the Fightville cards. That was super impressive and everyone in the back warming up was like, ‘Damn, that dude’s a gangster.”
Writer’s Note: Dynamite David Hardy, in my opinion, is a true diamond in the rough. As much as MMA shows are about the fighters, it is entertainment as well. Dynamite should headline a major organization one day and fans will not be disappointed. He is an amazing father, husband, and a true friend. Everyone who reads this can say they have heard of Dynamite before his big debut in our sport’s brightest lights.