“The Outlaw” Targeting Comeback
UFC analyst and commentator Dan Hardy is still targeting a return to the Octagon.
Hardy last competed in September 2012 after later becoming diagnosed with Wolff-Parkinson-White pattern. “The Outlaw” — who was cleared to return in 2018 — has repeatedly teased a comeback since, having signaled his intentions of returning to the United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) drug testing pool last year.
But that doesn’t mean Hardy is looking to fight a ranked contender on a path to a potential title shot or a young prospect. Instead, the former welterweight title challenger prefers to face experienced fighters approaching the twilight of their careers.
And Donald Cerrone and Anthony Pettis fit the bill.
“First and foremost, I’m an analyst now. I’m a commentator, so I don’t want to fight someone that’s on a trajectory to a title shot,” Hardy told ESPN’s Brett Okamoto. “Because I’m not interested in stepping in there and upsetting any kind of rankings and involving myself in those conversations. The people I’ve had conversations with and about fighting, obviously “Cowboy” is near the top of the list because he’d be a great pick. Anthony Pettis, that’s something I’ve discussed with [Paul] Felder and he’s discussed with Anthony. That’s a fight we’d both like to happen.
“It’s the guys towards the twilight of their careers. … Not the the guys that are at a trajectory to the title.”
More than anything, it looks like Hardy simply wants to compete a few times before returning to his gig as an analyst and commentator.
And that’s not a bad plan at all.