The news just announced by UFC Vice President of Community Relations, Reed Harris, after the UFC 170 Fight Club Q&A, was that of a new commentary and announcing team for the UFC’s international European events airing on the UFC Fight Pass. The commentary team will consist of play-by-play man John Gooden, and former UFC welterweight title contender Dan Hardy as the colour commentator. Along with the new commentary team, Andy Friedlander will be the ring announcer filling in for Bruce Buffer on the same UFC Fight Pass cards. The first event for this new team will be on UFC Fight Night: Gustafsson vs Manuwa in London, England on March 8th.
Dan Hardy (25-10, 1 NC) has not fought in the UFC since September of 2012 (a unanimous decision victory over Amir Sadollah), after being diagnosed with Wolff–Parkinson–White syndrome, an irregular heartbeat which prevent the doctors from clearing him to compete. Because of that, it seems Hardy has turned his attention to another role within the sport and within the UFC in the form of commentating.
Hardy started off his UFC career in 2008 reeling off 4 straight victories before getting a shot at the the welterweight champion, Georges St. Pierre. He then went on a 4-fight slide—including the title fight loss to GSP, before bouncing back to win his last 2 fights of his career.
Does this mean Hardy is finished competing in MMA? According to Ben Fowlkes of MMAJunkie, it doesn’t. Hardy is quoted as saying he still wants to find a way to get back in the UFC without needing to have surgery on his heart.
“I really believe it’s a matter of finding a cardiologist who’s not trying to make a bunch of cash, who can go to the UFC and say, ‘Yes, there is this thing, but it’s not a big deal and he’s never had symptoms,’” Hardy said. “Just in case, I can sign a bit of paperwork that says if my chest explodes on a pay-per-view, I knew it was going to happen. There’s got to be some way. We get punched in the face. We know how dangerous the sport is anyway.”