"It was just nice to have a couple months over the holidays to just, you know, spend some time with my family and just kind of clear my head of fighting a little bit and think about how I want to approach this year and, you know, really the rest of my career. You know, I'm not in this sport for a great deal longer I'll be honest and I'm ready to give a good run this year and set myself up for a big year next year. [I don't have a retirement] date as such, but I'm ready for a new challenge I'll be honest. There are a lot of things about this sport that I love, and there are a lot of things about it I don't like at all. These are things that obviously, you know, right now is not the right time to talk about them, but later on in my career and after my career then, you know, it's something I want to be more vocal about. As of right now, I just need to embrace that instinctual inner-reptile and make another run at the belt again... I'm very determined to make this a big year for me then step away on top of the sport then step away and do something else for a while."
-- Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) Welterweight Dan Hardy (25-10) tells a group of reporters in a media scrum at UFC 156 earlier this month in Las Vegas that he is seriously considering a retirement from mixed martial arts (MMA) competition at the conclusion of the 2013 calendar year. "The Outlaw" claims he wants to make one last run towards the top of the division then call it quits and move on to another chapter in his life. Hardy started his UFC career by winning four-straight fights, which at the time was enough to earn a shot at 170-pound champion Georges St. Pierre. "Rush" mauled the Brit over the course of five-rounds, which marked the beginning of a four-fight losing streak. Hardy turned the ship around to close out 2012 by winning back-to-back fights against Duane Ludwig and Amir Sadollah. If the 30-year-old hopes to turn any of these plans into a reality, he must first get by his next challenge in the form of the streaking Matt Brown at UFC on FOX 7: "Henderson vs. Melendez" on April 20, 2013 in San Jose, California. Do you think Hardy can reclaim his former spot as No. 1 contender in the UFC welterweight division? Or is the fact the red-haired rockstar is already mentioning retirement a cause for concern? As his foot appears to be part way out of the door already.