Dan Hardy has his eyes firmly set on a return to MMA after calling out Nick Diaz for a fight. This news happened after he had previously challenged Matt Brown, who has now got a fight of his own.
It seems like the Englishman is serious about his return to the octagon and has apparently been training regularly with anticipation to fight yet again. His last bout was nearly 10 years ago in the UFC where he successfully beat Amir Sadollah which took his pro-record to 25-10. After this, he has forged a successful career as a UFC commentator and is still heavily invested into the world of MMA.
Dan Hardy was known as a fan favourite throughout his MMA career and at his peak even fought against Georges St Pierre for the Welterweight title, losing by a unanimous decision. His retirement at age 29 was a shock to many at the time, as he revealed he had Wolff-Parkinson-White syndrome. This is a fairly symptom-less medical condition that can damage the heart.
Since his diagnosis, Dan Hardy retired yet claimed he had never felt problems from his syndrome, so did not have surgery as a result. Although he is long out of the game, he has always wished to return at some point and claimed that he wished to do so in 2021.
Potential Opponents for Dan Hardy
Well, now 2021 is here and he’s trying to catch a fight with Nick Diaz. It seems that the Diaz brothers are often called for fights and are the go-to-guys when match-making is in process. Known for their fiery persona and exciting fighting styles, it’s no wonder as to why many chose them as the perfect opponent’s.
The challenge to Nick Diaz came from Dan Hardy on Twitter who said “So now Matt Brown is matched, I suppose I’ll jump to the next name on my list. Where’s Nicholas Diaz at? Any rules, any promotion, any arena. Back to fighting for respect again… My happy place.”
So now @IamTheImmortal is matched, I suppose I’ll jump to the next name on my list.
Where’s Nicholas Diaz at?
Any rules, any promotion, any arena.
Back to fighting for respect again…
My happy place.
— Dan Hardy (@danhardymma) March 2, 2021
As of right now, Diaz is yet to respond. However, knowing him he will not let this one sit and whether he declines or accepts, the world will know of his decision soon enough.
This brings the question of what would go down, hypothetically speaking. Even though Dan Hardy is in good shape and still trains, the reality of ring rust is still a definite issue. Let’s face it, nearly 9 years away from his last fight is a long, long time and very few people ever come back successfully after long delays. Of course, trying to tell this to Hardy would be another thing entirely.
Diaz himself hasn’t fought for many years. His last performance was against Anderson Silva, a fight that he originally lost that has been judged a no-contest prior. Diaz is without a win since 2011, where he brutally dominated BJ Penn, although has hinted about coming out of retirement himself.
However, it may be harsh to judge The Outlaw on the potential results of the fight. For him, this, or any fight would offer closure on his career. Mentally it must be tough to have to retire after winning your last 2 UFC fights and being in a good place. At the age of 29, most fighters still have their best years ahead of them, so for Hardy it may be a case of what could have been.
With this in mind, for Hardy – his last fight offers the chance of retribution. Perhaps it’s not about winning or losing, but going out on his own terms. Further, a number of fighters have chosen to fight against doctor’s orders in the past, so this is nothing new in that regard.
Whether Hardy gets his wish against Nick Diaz is yet to be seen. However, judging by his words, he is deadly serious and desperate to have one last fight. Whether in the UFC or a different promotion seems irrelevant to Hardy who is determined to get back in the octagon. Because of this, it would be hard to bet against his return, which seems almost a certainty at this point.
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