Dan Hardy Issues Statement, Clarifies Disagreement With UFC Staff

By Jay Pettry Mar 11, 2021

Former Ultimate Fighting Championship title challenger Dan Hardy has put out a statement to dispel rumors about his dispute with the organization.

On Wednesday, Hardy released a statement from his personal Full Reptile webpage, where he explained what happened between him and the unnamed UFC staffer he allegedly argued with. The rumors swirled in recent days, which emanated from Dave Meltzer’s Wrestling Observer Newsletter, stating that Hardy had been let go from the UFC due to an “incident” with a female employee while covering an event on Yas Island in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. Hardy then disputed a report from BJPenn.com about the alleged altercation, while stating that he is no longer working with the UFC and that the gender of the staff member involved was not relevant.

In his statement, Hardy discussed that the verbal dispute to which he was involved was not hostile and only related to work. As a result, he has been relieved of his obligations with the UFC, which has included color commentary, desk analysis and various analytical shows for the organization. Hardy first called UFC Fight Night 37 in 2014 in London, and he was involved in the commentary of 44 UFC events through the years. Unless his duties are returned to him, his final show in the commentary booth was UFC on ABC 1 in January, with all 44 taking place outside of the U.S. He still will work with broadcast partner BT Sport in some capacity.

“The Outlaw” previously faced scrutiny from the Las Vegas-based promotion at UFC on ESPN 14 in 2020, when he interacted with referee Herb Dean after the bout between Francisco Trinaldo and Jai Herbert. Believing the stoppage was late and Dean had erred in his judgment, Hardy got out of his seat to shout at Dean and criticize the call. He later had to explain himself, and Dean issued a rare statement of his own discussing why his choice was not improper and that Hardy should not have lashed out. The UFC did not punish Hardy for his actions, but sternly warned the former welterweight contender about handling future situations like this.

It is unclear at the moment whether Hardy has been released from his separate fighter contract with the league, as he has often flirted with returning to competition. The Brit retired in 2013 after his diagnosis with Wolff-Parkinson-White syndrome, a heart problem that forced him out of competition. Through the years, Hardy has explained that he has since been medically cleared to compete, and that he even re-entered the USADA testing pool. “The Outlaw” has called out many fighters in recent memory, including Diego Sanchez.

Hardy’s statement reads in full below:

”Apologies for my silence on this current situation. I’m still chasing answers privately, and it’s taking some time. This is what I can say, at this point.

“It was a verbal disagreement between myself and a member of the UFC staff. It was forthright but not aggressive, and specific to work.

“I have apologized to the individual, for the embarrassment they must have felt, as a small handful of our colleagues from the British media were present. We were taking a brief break from recording UFC 258 content, a few hours after the Holloway Kattar event had concluded, when the disagreement occurred. The conversation could have definitely taken place in a better location, and under better circumstances.

“BT Sport have not fired me, and are still keen on working with me in some capacity. I’m appreciative of their interest in a continued collaboration. Thank you all for the support in the comments across their accounts. They are paying attention and making efforts, although there is pressure to push me out entirely.

“The Raptors were quarantined for three weeks in order to attend UFC 259, but had their credentials revoked, so we’re diversifying our content a little, and appreciate your subs and support.

“It has been suggested that a reconciliation between myself and the UFC is possible, and of course, I hope that is the case. I have yet to speak to, or hear from Dana, and get a better understanding of his perspective on the situation.

“The result of their brief and private investigation has left me with little closure, and hope that at some point I’m able to get more information of what I’ve actually been accused.

“I’m forever a fan of the UFC, and dedicated in service of MMA. I appreciate all of your kind words and support, both privately and publicly, and have lots of exciting offers to consider.

“With respect and gratitude, The Outlaw”

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