UFC veteran Dan 'The Outlaw' Hardy has been enjoying his new role as UFC commentator since health complications have prevented him from competing inside the cage. Now though, he is aiming to get medical clearance in 2015 and make a return to competition at a new weight of 155lb.
Dan's future as an MMA fighter may still be uncertain, but that doesn't mean he will never be able to compete in any form of martial arts competition again. In a recent interview, the Brit revealed he is open to other pursuing other athletic avenues moving forward.
"I'd love to do some grappling tournaments because it was something that I didn't really get a lot of time to invest in before I started pro MMA," Hardy told Fighters Only. "As soon as I started pro MMA it became very difficult about me entering tournaments. It kind of changes people's approach to you when you're already fighting pro MMA. So I would like to go back and do some more grappling tournaments. I'm not good enough for Metamoris just yet, I think I'll need a bit of extra work."
Although he hasn't fought since September 2012, Hardy remains a close follower of the sport in his leisure time and has been keeping a close eye on events over the past calendar year, ensuring that he remains sharp for calling fights on cards across the UK and Europe.
One of the key factors regarding UFC match-ups in 2014 has been fight cancellations due to injuries, with one of the suspected reasons for this has being that fighters are pushing themselves too hard in the gym. Hardy gave his thoughts on this issue.
"A lot of the time in these MMA gyms, particularly in big gyms where they start recruiting guys that are already established â€“ we've got Blackzilians and American Top Team and places like that - where you get a huge group of world-class fighters in there that could potentially fight for a title against each other, there's a lot of ego going on. A lot of people carelessly injuring each other in training, and I think that's a big part of the problem right now. A lot of ego needs to be gotten rid of and people need to realise that they've got to look after themselves, first and foremost.
"You're not going to be a fighter forever and it's difficult to see that when you're in the moment and being a fighter. I've never really looked outside my career and thought about the fact that I'm not going to be a fighter one day, I'm going to be an old man and I don't want to be beat up and worn out. I think a lot of these guys, it's not even the fights when they're taking the damage, it's just in the training camps. They're beating themselves up to the point where they're not going to be comfortable for the rest of their lives and that's not a martial artist. That's not a martial arts approach. We need to be in peak physical condition all the time, and that includes injuries. It's not tough to be injured, it's short-sighted a lot of the time."
One suggested alternative for training camp models has been to take the same approach often employed by elite boxers, where a training camp is built around one individual. Of course, the majority of athletes in MMA don't have the same amount of money to spend as the like of Floyd Mayweather.
"A lot of people can't afford to build a training camp around them," Hardy said. "They have to step into a training camp where it's a shared training camp among a whole group of fighters that are all preparing. It's kind of like, 'I'll scratch your back and you scratch mine. I'll be there for your training camp as long as you're there for mine.'
"It's much more of a hands-on sport as well. With boxing you can hit bags and hit pads and stuff, and then you spar two or three times a week. In MMA, we need to be grappling, wrestling with people fairly regularly. A lot of the time it's just about selecting the right training partners. I have a very small group of people that I'm comfortable working with now, and I don't step outside of that too much. I roll occasionally with somebody if they come with a trusted recommendation. But we really have to look after ourselves, particularly when you're on TV and stuff. We see it in seminars a lot where a guy, with the best intentions in the world, will try and show you how good he is just because he respects you and looks up to you. But at the same time we can't be at 100 percent all the time, we can't be stepping into every gym expecting a fight. So there's a lot of evolution that has to happen with people's training camps. A part of that is we need more money among the fighters and a part of that is we need the fighters to be a bit smarter about what they're doing."
Dan Hardy has a pro MMA record of 25-10 (1 NC). He last fought at UFC on FUEL TV 5 in September 2012, where he defeated Amir Sadollah via unanimous decision.