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UFC’s Dan Hardy Planning Return, Explains Why he Wants Scrap With Diego Sanchez

Kelsey Mowatt

UFC

It’s been over two years now since Dan Hardy last competed in the Octagon, but the bruising fighter has revealed he’s eyeing a comeback in 2015.

The 32 year-old Hardy has been sidelined since he scored a decision win over Amir Sadollah, due to a rare heart condition called Wolff Parkinson White Syndrome. The British fighter has been working as a UFC commentator in the meantime, and while he was in Sweden recently to call UFC Fight Night 53, he spoke with the Swedish outlet MMA NYTT.

During the segment, Hardy was asked about his future in fighting, and here is what “The Outlaw” had to say (quote via MMA Fighting.com):

“I’m looking at getting cleared the beginning of next year,” Hardy said. “I’ve spoken to a few doctors and it’s looking positive. I don’t see a reason why I wouldn’t get cleared to fight, so now, really, it’s just about getting back into training camp. Getting back into the groove of preparing for a fight.”

That’s some good news. Hardy also relayed that he’s slimmed down in the last couple of years, and as a result, he’s considering a move to 155. When asked who he might be interested in facing at lightweight, Hardy repeated his desire to fight Diego Sanchez.

“He’s always kind of irritated me,” Hardy said about Sanchez. “I like Diego, I respect him and I forgive him for his strangeness, but in my opinion he’s kind of the problem with mixed martial arts. He started off as a really good fighter and he’s just slowly gotten worse throughout his career. That is the opposite to how martial artists should develop.

“He’s discarded technique, he’s discarded logic and intelligence and he’s gone with hard-headedness and blocking punches with his face. That is not a good example for future mixed martial artists. I just feel like, particularly with my fighting style and how it’s developing the last couple of years, I think that I could really expose him and hopefully teach him something about the martial arts and where he’s gone wrong.”

That’s an interesting take on Sanchez, and there’s likely others who would agree. One could also argue that Sanchez’s hard headed approach has often been born out of his inability to take new generation fighters to the mat. It’s also intriguing to hear this come from Hardy, who has showcased a punishing top game in last his last couple of fights, after being labelled a striker for quite some time.

Prior to scoring wins over Duane Ludwig and Sadollah, Hardy had dropped four consecutive bouts. The UFC’s Lorenzo Fertitta elected to keep Hardy on, however, and cited the fighter’s aggressive approach as a reason why.

So, now it remains to be seen if Hardy gets cleared to fight and when he could make his Octagon return. Hopefully all of that comes together sooner than later.

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