Dan Hardy Targets 2015 Return To UFC; Wants Diego Sanchez Fight At 155lbs

Dan Hardy is currently serving as a color commentator for some of the UFC’s outlining events in areas like Europe, but he still harbors ambitions to return to the Octagon before he finally hangs up his gloves for good.

The 32 year-old is actually on a two-fight winning streak at the moment, but hasn’t in two years due to medical concerns after being diagnosed with a rare heart condition known as Wolff–Parkinson–White syndrome which can disrupt the heart’s normal rhythm.

The former welterweight title contender believes that he’s going to be given the all-clear to compete again however, and all going well he hopes to return in early 2015.

” I don’t see a reason why I wouldn’t get cleared to fight,” Hardy said in an interview with MMAnytt in Sweden prior to commentating at UFC Fight Night 53 last weekend. “So now, really, it’s just about getting back into training camp, getting back into the groove of preparing for a fight.”

Hardy has kept in shape during his time off, abandoning his previous focus on gaining muscle mass and instead working on his movement and flexibilty, which has seen his weight level out at around 178lbs, and that’s opened up the possibility of fighting at lightweight if and when he does return.

“I think lightweight would be a great challenge for me. I think there are a lot of good fighters at that weight class, a lot of good kick boxers so I could have some good fights.”

And there’s one fighter in particular currently competing in the lightweight division that Hardy’s eager to lock horns with – Diego Sanchez.

“He’s always kind of irritated me,” Hardy says of Sanchez. “I like Diego, I respect him and I forgive him for his strangeness, but in my opinion he’s kind of the problem with mixed martial arts. He started off as a really good fighter and he’s just slowly gotten worse throughout his career. That is the opposite to how martial artists should develop.

“He’s discarded technique, he’s discarded logic and intelligence and he’s gone with hard-headedness and blocking punches with his face. That is not a good example for future mixed martial artists. I just feel like, particularly with my fighting style and how it’s developing the last couple of years, I think that I could really expose him and hopefully teach him something about the martial arts and where he’s gone wrong.”

Watch the full interview with Hardy below.

Over the years I've watched the UFC develop into the powerhouse it is today, organizations like PRIDE, Strikeforce and WEC rise and fall, and Bellator emerge as a new force on the MMA landscape. Throughout it all I've remained captivated by the sport and I'm excited to cover what comes next here on MMA Insight.