Did you know that Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) veterans Dan Hardy and Diego Sanchez were set to face off in a boxing match this weekend? Well, now you do! Unfortunately, the bout has been canceled.
This isn’t the first bump in the road when it comes to Hardy’s attempt to compete in combat sports again, but it may be his last. The former UFC Welterweight title contender hasn’t fought since 2012 when doctors discovered he suffered from Wolff Parkinson White Syndrome (WPWS).
WPWS is a heart condition that can lead to irregular heartbeat, heart palpitations and sometimes cardiac arrest. Rather than undergo a surgical procedure to treat the issue, Hardy spent the next several years trying to get medically cleared despite the ailment.
After being released by UFC in 2021, Hardy was finally able to secure a boxing booking against Diego Sanchez on the Ricky Hatton vs. Marco Antonio Barrera undercard set for July 2, 2022. That fight got delayed until Nov. 12, 2022, and with it Sanchez vs. Hardy.
Unfortunately, the boxing bout between former UFC greats got downsized sometime in the ensuing months.
“So, basically the card was picked up by Sky Sports,” Hardy told Submission Radio. “And they decided that they wanted the Hatton vs. Barrera [undercard] fights off the card and to add all the rest of their own fights to it. Cause obviously they got a deal with Boxer and they’ve got loads of fighters signed to their management team.
“So yeah, they basically just took the Hatton vs. Barrera fight and they canceled the rest of the fights,” he continued. “I’ve had a bit of a chat with Diego about it. Of course, he was disappointed as well, but you know, it’s the fight game. It’s chaotic at the moment, and with new promoters getting into the businesses, I think sometimes they buy themselves a bit more than they can chew, and I think that’s what happened. I hope it goes really well. But, aside from following Ricky Hatton’s Instagram, I’m not really hearing anything about it.”
Hardy admitted it could be the end of his attempts to step back into a ring (or cage) as a professional fighter.
“My Mum said it kind of feels like the universe is kind of telling you something here — maybe it is,” he said. “Maybe I’m just clinging onto something. But to be honest, I’m still feeling great, I still feel in good condition, my mind’s sharp, and there are a couple of options for the new year. Yeah, there’s a couple of options, couple of people’s names I’ve got in mind.
“But, to be honest, I’m just kind of going with what comes to me at the moment,” he continued. “I’m so busy with the YouTube channel, with the new project that’s coming up in the new year. That’s gonna be incredible. That might give me an opportunity to compete again as well in Mixed Martial Arts. I’m taking things in stride a bit more.
“I’ve had so many curve balls these last six months,” he admitted. “It’s been a bit of stressful ride. But, I’m sitting here today in front of you with a smile on my face, and I’m feeling very positive about the new year. Very, very positive.”
For those worried about Hardy’s job security with UFC partner, BT Sport, following his recent clashes with Dana White, “The Outlaw” had some good news to share.
“I’ve had another contract come through,” Hardy revealed. “It’s not a fight contract, but it is a contract within mixed martial arts for a new job. So, I can’t say any more about it, but it’s gonna keep me busy for the next couple of years. I’m very excited.”
What do you think, Maniacs? Are you still interested in seeing Dan Hardy fight again?