Dan Hardy was booked to face Matt Brown on the upcoming UFC on Fox 7 fight card, but in late March, Hardy, a veteran of 10 other trips into the Octagon, was removed from the event and replaced by Jordan Mein.
At the time of his removal from the April 20 bout, Hardy’s manager Wad Alameddine spoke to AddictedMMA.com and said Hardy’s “EKG results came back showing an irregularity which has been diagnosed as Wolff Parkinson White Syndrome.” Alameddine went on to state that the California State Athletic Commission would not clear his fighter due to the condition, which according to MayoClinic.com, “is the presence of an extra, abnormal electrical pathway in the heart that leads to periods of a very fast heartbeat.”
On Tuesday, it was revealed by MMAJunkie.com that it was not the CSAC that ruled Hardy out of the bout but the UFC.
This is, to put it mildly, a curious development. Hardy referred to the news as “interesting,” also saying, “It doesn't really change a great deal. But it does let me know where the decision has come from.”
It’s hard to tell why UFC officials wouldn’t have informed Hardy and his camp that they were responsible for removing him from the fight, especially since they have the ultimate decision as to whether or not Hardy will compete as a member of the promotion.
Hardy has always been a stand-up guy for the UFC, a company man that has delivered some very entertaining scraps inside the Octagon. His style has earned him a very influential fan in UFC CEO Lorenzo Fertitta. Perhaps that mutual admiration left the promotion feeling somewhat awkward about the situation.
Is it time for Dan Hardy to retire?
It’s certainly an odd place for the UFC to be in, but ultimately, the promotion has to look out for what’s best for the business and its fighters. The CSAC said the condition would not automatically disqualify Hardy for a license in the state, but even if the chances are very low that Hardy could suffer dire circumstances due to Wolff Parkinson White Syndrome (risk of death by sudden cardiac arrest is 0.6 percent), it’s in everyone’s best interest to keep Hardy out of the Octagon—and not just for this fight, but forever.
Hardy has always had interests outside of fighting and has mentioned recently that retirement may not be too far away for him. This isn’t the ideal way for any fighter to leave the sport, walking away on terms other than what they dictate themselves, but Hardy would be wise to look at this as a sign that maybe it’s time to move on and pursue that philosophy degree and enjoy life outside the sport of mixed martial arts.