'Changed' Dan Hardy shaves mohawk, ditches 'arrogance' that led him to early UFC title shot

Copyright: Martin McNeil

Former No. 1 UFC welterweight contender Dan Hardy is apparently all grown up ... and trimmed.

Mixed martial arts (MMA) fans might want to get used to the image of Dan Hardy sans mohawk.

Indeed, the former No. 1 Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) Welterweight contender has shed his trademark red mohawk haircut and his arrogant attitude, both of which earned him high-profile awareness of fights fans across the globe.

According to the "Outlaw," his attitude also helped earn him a very early title shot against Georges St. Pierre at UFC 111 back in 2010 after just four wins inside the Octagon, a bout he would go onto lose via lopsided unanimous decision.

So why the change?

According to the British standout -- who appeared on a recent edition of "The MMA Hour" -- it's part of his natural evolution as a person and a fighter. In addition, he doesn't want to put a bad example for his "species" as certain hair-dyed, mohawk-wearing contestants on The Ultimate Fighter (TUF) are wont to do.

He explains:

"That's who I was. I'm not that person anymore. The mohawk's gone and just the whole arrogance that came with it that I showed those first few fights in the UFC. That played its role, you know? It was an important phase in my life and I learned a lot from it. The way I acted led to the right fights and the right situation at the time arose from those fights and I got a title fight in four fights, which is early for anybody in the UFC, you know? As some point, we all have to evolve a little and I have changed. I feel much better about myself and I don't feel like I'm putting out a bad impression on my species for acting the way that I did and the way some people do on The Ultimate Fighter and stuff. There's a lot of tie-ins with that for the reason I changed my haircut as well because it seems that the UFC tries to find one guy with a red or a pink mohawk for every season and that was the guy that was drinking too much and throwing stuff into the pool. I'm not that guy, but I guess my brand kind of got ahead of me and became something I didn't want it to be and I had to step away from it."

We can all use a dose of change, however for Hardy, the lifestyle change comes at a personal medical crossroads.

Hardy was recently yanked from his UFC on Fox 7 170-pound scrap against Matt Brown and replaced by Jordan Mein after it was discovered that he had a heart-related problem dubbed Wolff-Parkinson White pattern. The good news is that he hasn't quite been diagnosed with Wolff-Parkinson White Syndrome, a more serious heart disorder that can lead to rapid heart rate, low blood pressure and even heart failure.

And while Hardy is hesitant to go under the knife to remedy the issue for the time being, he is taking care of other things in his personal life such as "evolving" into a better person and transforming into a mature fighter by ridding himself of his "arrogant" attitude.

Only time will tell if the outward change will affect his performance inside the Octagon -- and reputation outside of it -- if and when "The Outlaw" returns action.

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