Dan Hardy has a nice, comfy job of calling fights for the UFC. Most fans would love to be in his position, but Hardy has a plan to step back into the Octagon once more.
Speaking on MMA Junkie Radio (transcribed by MMA Junkie's Steven Marrocco), Hardy shared that he received encouraging news in regard to his Wolff-Parkinson-White syndrome and has an idea of whom he would want to fight if he's cleared for action once again.
"Diego Sanchez, because after Ross Pearson got robbed, that was one of the worst decisions I’ve ever seen,” he said.
Ross Pearson and Diego Sanchez fought at UFC Fight Night 42, a bout that saw Sanchez pick up a split-decision victory. The scoring was so bad that one of the judges managed to give Sanchez a round in which he was knocked down by Pearson.
UFC president Dana White would subsequently call the result "insanity," via ESPN.com's Brett Okamoto, and would move on as if Pearson had won the fight. However, based on his post-fight press conference, Sanchez is still certain he won the fight.
Hardy would go on to further explain why he'd like to fight Sanchez, giving the Jackson's MMA fighter a sort of backhanded compliment.
I’m a huge Diego fan, but for me, he is what’s wrong with mixed martial arts right now. He is the 20th century bullheaded martial artist that walks forward and fights with their face. ... I think Diego represents the old school, where you just walk forward in a boxing stance and see who falls over first.
Sanchez's style has certainly made him must-see TV during his UFC tenure because his game plan rarely involves moving backward. His wars with Gilbert Melendez and Martin Kampmann provided MMA fans with plenty of excitement.
Of course, that method of fighting comes with a heavy price, and it's clear that Sanchez has begun to feel the effects of it. Listening to Sanchez speak following his battle with Melendez, you can hear the slurred speech that's become all too common with legends of boxing's past.
Hardy has a few obstacles to overcome before going up against competition, and with him doing so well as a commentator, the UFC isn't in any rush to get him back into the cage. The recent Stefan Struve mishap at UFC 175 also has to weigh heavily on the company's decision to put Hardy back in action.
Prior to trading in his gloves for a suit, Hardy had become one of the main players in the UFC's overseas expansion plans. The UFC heavily pushed and hyped Hardy for his fight against Georges St-Pierre at UFC 111, but Hardy would fall like so many before him to the relentless assault from GSP.
A string of defeats left many wondering why Hardy was still employed with the UFC. But eventually, Hardy figured things out and strung together back-to-back wins in 2012.