The Dan Hardy-UFC saga continues. Hardy’s recent release from the UFC commentary team has been the subject of many a media article heading over the past month.
The release came as a result of a supposed dispute Hardy had with an employee of the UFC, in front of members of the press and fellow colleagues. Hardy has had little to say on the matter, bar a short statement he released.
The Herb Dean Incident
However, in a recent interview with Submission Radio, Dan Hardy spoke in detail about the situation surrounding his release. Hardy revealed that he believes an altercation he had with referee Herb Dean in 2020 placed him at odds with UFC president Dana White. He stated the following:
“[Dana and myself] discussed [the Herb Dean incident], but I think his perspective is still that I got out from my seat, took my headset off, went over and I was waiting at the octagon door for Herb to come out,” said Hardy. “Like, I still hear that come up on social media from time to time. And then this troll account was started up that’s pretending to be Herb Dean’s wife. I didn’t even know he was married. I’ve never met his wife. It’s just fed into this weird kind of misinformation. I mean it’s the times that we’re living, isn’t it? The generation of fake news. And that’s the problem, when Dana was asked about it at the press conference, he wasn’t clear about the information that he had. And I still very much feel like Dana feels like I approached Herb. Which I didn’t” (transcribed by Bloody Elbow).
Hardy also believes that the way in which the argument was reported gave many a false idea of what actually happened. Rather than it being Hardy who approached Dean, it was the referee who came over to ‘The Outlaw’s commentary booth.
“If you look at the photo, I’ve probably said this a million times. There’s a monitor in front of me that says Dell on the back. That’s my monitor for the fights. And if you look at the photo, it’s Herb’s arm that is over my monitor. I’m standing at my desk, ready to turn around because we’re doing separated interviews. Trinaldo’s already made his way out of the Octagon. So, I’ve got to turn around and face a camera that’s behind me. But in the process of me standing up and taking my headset off to turn around and face the camera, I noticed that Herb is already on his way over to my desk from the octagon. And I know he said that he didn’t know who it was, but that’s nonsense. Because if you watch the end of the fight, you’ll see he turns and he points at me through the cage. Like, he knew it was me that shouted it. Not in the history of the UFC has a fight ever been stopped by the commission yelling ‘stop the fight’.”
“So, I’m the stop the fight guy,” said Hardy. “I don’t know if I can swear on your show, but fuck it, I don’t care, because I’m speaking out for something that’s important. And it’s like this weird misinformation that’s happened about it, where I’m like there picking a fight for some kind of personal benefit. It’s just fucking nonsense. Like, what a stupid thing to say.”
The argument did not stem out of personal concern for the fighter who had been on the receiving end of Herb Dean’s hesitancy to stop the fight but simply out of a concern for fighter safety in general. Dan Hardy stated that:
“Like, I don’t really know Jai Herb. I know him as well as I know Trinaldo. It doesn’t matter if the situation was reversed, it’d be the same situation. And it’s not about Herb, but like, generally we have mistakes made consistently in the sport. … I mean, you can see now I can speak, so I can say exactly what I like, I don’t get it. Like, he’s working the majority of the events in Las Vegas, he’s considered the gold standard of the sport, but he makes a mistake almost on a weekly basis at this point. Like, who’s gonna call him out on it? I’ll do it. I don’t care.”