Dan Hardy and his infamous mohawk (color to be determined) are headed to a mixed martial arts (MMA) event near you.
Hardy (25-10, 1 NC) is actively campaigning for a return to combat sports following an eight-year-long retirement. At the top of his list is former Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) Welterweight titleholder Tyron Woodley, and kickboxing gunslinger John Wayne Parr. Whoever the opponent, you can be certain “The Outlaw” will be equipped with his iconic mohawk.
“I’ve not decided on a color yet but I will most likely grow the mohawk back,” Hardy tells MMAMania.com. “The truth is it grow so quickly right now that I just have to keep it short. I grew it out a little while ago and had it tied up, but it was like 14 inches long. It was getting in my way of training. But I will grow it back. Yeah, definitely.
“I’ll be returning in full force, mohawk and all.”
Hardy’s moniker of “The Outlaw” is definitely, at least in this writer’s opinion, on the better end of MMA nicknames. It originated as a screenname reflecting his own experiences with being outlawed from his place of training.
“I was originally training at a gym with a very talented coach who ended up working with Michael Bisping for a long while. We had a small group of fighters but I was very serious about competing. I had already been competing in various other things and had been kickboxing and doing Muay Thai. I wanted to get into MMA,” Hardy explains. “The coach, for whatever reason, was entirely focused on the one individual in the gym and just wouldn’t get me matched, wouldn’t allow me to match up myself.
“So I decided I was going in a different direction. He told all of my training partners, everybody around me, that they couldn’t train with me otherwise they wouldn’t be able to train with them anymore. So it kind of outlawed me in the Nottingham MMA scene in the early days. Fortunately for me, I used the Cage Warriors forum. I signed up as ‘The Outlaw’ and I asked for sparring and training partners. Fortunately, I connected with a couple of guys and that’s how Rough House came together. but for a little while, it was difficult to get some training partners.”
Hardy is expected to make his return to combat sports under the ONE Championship banner. It will be his first fight following 2012 victories over Amir Sadollah and Duane Ludwig. The English fighter was diagnosed with Wolff–Parkinson–White syndrome in 2013, forcing his retirement. Hardy revealed in 2019 that he is medically cleared to compete.
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