UFC welterweight Dan Hardy truly is at a crossroads for his career after doctors recently discovered the fighter has Wolff-Parkinson-White syndrome.
The ailment, which is an abnormal electrical pathway that essentially causes an extra heartbeat, can cause medical issues up to and including something as serious as a heart attack if not treated properly.
Hardy was diagnosed by doctors prior to his last scheduled fight against Matt Brown, which was supposed to take place at UFC on Fox 7 on April 20. After the discovery of the heart condition, Hardy was yanked from the card by the UFC for precautionary reasons.
Since that time, Hardy's future has become somewhat cloudy.
The treatment suggested by doctors to cure or treat the heart disorder is called ablation, which "works by scarring or destroying tissue in your heart that triggers an abnormal heart rhythm. In some cases, ablation prevents abnormal electrical signals from traveling through your heart and thus stops the arrhythmia," according to the Mayo Clinic.
Hardy is no fan of having the surgery, considering the heart condition hasn't causing him any issues in the past. He believes it to be unnecessary.
"Basically the way I understand it right now is if I want to continue fighting, to get cleared, I have to have the ablation," Hardy said speaking on the Joe Rogan Podcast on Wednesday. "Because I've never had any symptoms and I'm perfectly fine, I don't see the point in letting someone start burning my s—t."
The UFC has stepped up to support Hardy while he deals with his heart condition. UFC president Dana White has stated that the UFC will send Hardy to a specialist for a second opinion whenever he's ready to get the testing done, and it appears that time is drawing near.
"I'm going to go back and get some more tests done. Lorenzo [Fertitta] has a special cardiologist that he wants me to go and see, so I'm going to get that done and just kind of see what my options are," Hardy stated. "I don't see the point in having the surgery done if I have to have it done to carry on fighting. It just seems pointless to me."
Hardy has been very honest in the past when talking about his fighting future and possible retirement from the sport. It's something he addressed even before his heart condition was diagnosed, so obviously this situation has pushed the agenda even further.
Ultimately, Hardy does hope to fight again in the UFC, but when or how that happens is still up in the air.
"I want to get cleared to fight, I would like to be able to fight again," Hardy stated. "Even if it's just once a year, once every 18 months or something. Just have a fight with someone that it's going to be a fun fight where I can test all these theories and see where I'm at physically."
Hardy's life away from fighting is still keeping him busy. The British-born welterweight has ventured to numerous places all over the world for "spiritual" travels, and he says he's enjoying training now more than ever because he's learning and evolving instead of focusing on one fight sitting in front of him.
The next project Hardy will work on includes a video blog series that will follow him as he trains, which could also potentially feature his study of yoga and his new vegan diet.
"My goal is basically get paid to be myself," Hardy said with a smile. "That's what I want to do."
There is no timeline set for when Hardy will visit the UFC's cardiologist to have his heart checked again, but at least for now he is planning on returning to the Octagon one day. In the meantime, Hardy's life will continue regardless of fighting in MMA.
Damon Martin is a Featured Columnist for Bleacher Report.