UFC veteran Dan Hardy will anchor a new broadcast team that will handle several upcoming UFC events on the promotion's Fight Pass streaming service, the promotion announced Friday.
The team will perform the announcing duties for six Fight Pass events. The news came in Las Vegas at a UFC Q&A for members of its Fight Club program, which was held in connection with UFC 170. The news was also reported by MMAJunkie's Ben Fowlkes.
"You watch the DVDs and you analyze the guys and discuss them with your teammates and coaches," Hardy told MMAJunkie. "I’m doing the same thing but discussing it with a co-commentator."
Hardy will handle color commentary for European UFC events. John Gooden, who made a name as a broadcaster with well-regarded British promotion Cage Warriors, will handle play-by-play duties. Andy Friedlander will be the cage announcer.
The star of the new team is, unquestionably, Hardy, the outspoken and popular British welterweight who competed in the octagon for four years. "The Outlaw," 31, is 25-10-1 in his MMA career, including a 6-4 mark in the UFC. His stylistic calling card was his knockout punching power which netted him 12 professional victories.
One pinnacle of his career came in March 2010, when he fought Georges St-Pierre for St-Pierre's welterweight title. Though Hardy lost the fight by decision, he earned respect for lasting five rounds with the champ.
In November, Hardy announced he had been diagnosed with a rare heart condition and was semi-retiring from active competition as a result.
According to Bleacher Report's Jeremy Botter, who was on hand for the announcement, Hardy has not yet fully retired from fighting.
Was told Hardy has not closed the door on fighting. Still a chance he gets in there again.— Jeremy Botter (@jeremybotter) February 21, 2014
The "A team" for UFC broadcasts is still play-by-play man Mike Goldberg, color analyst Joe Rogan and cage announcer Bruce Buffer. Play-by-play specialist Jon Anik handles some duties alongside analyst Kenny Florian. Other ex-fighters and media professionals, including highly regarded ring and cage announcer Joe Martinez, also have joined various UFC broadcasts at various times.
Scott Harris writes about MMA for Bleacher Report. Follow Scott on Twitter.