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Morning Report: Dan Hardy says he’d like to make UFC comeback at MSG ‘if the offer is right’

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For MMA fans who only came to the sport in the advent of Conor McGregor’s rise to superstardom, Dan Hardy is predominantly known as the color commentator who is on the call for UFC events in Europe. But before Hardy became one of the best commentators in the game, he was a pretty good fighter. Now it appears that Hardy is ready to get back in the saddle again and show new fans what “The Outlaw” is all about.

Speaking recently with MMANytt, Hardy said that he has been eyeing a return to the cage for one final fight, and while he fought at 170 pounds for his entire career, if he had his druthers Hardy says he’d like to open up a new division for fighters between 155 and 170 pounds – the 161-pound division.

“If I was gonna come back, I’d want a name,” said Hardy. “There’s a lot of guys in the lightweight division I would look at, there’s a lot of guys in the welterweight division I would look at. If I had my own choice I would take a fight at 161 [pounds] or 162 [pounds] and have that as a new weight class. There’s a need for a weight class in between those two weight classes and part of the resistance is Dana [White] doesn’t want to move the welterweight division to 175 [pounds], and I absolutely agree but that 161/162 weight class would be perfect for the guys moving up to welterweight or down to lightweight. For me, I would fight anybody in that weight class.”

Hardy is best known as a one-time challenger for Georges St-Pierre’s welterweight title but Hardy hasn’t competed since a 2012 unanimous decision win over Amir Sadollah at UFC on Fuel TV 5. In 2013, Hardy was diagnosed with the heart disorder, Wolff–Parkinson–White syndrome and removed from a scheduled bout against Matt Brown. He has not competed since then, instead moving up the ranks of UFC commentators. If he does come back though, not only does he have his eyes on a shiny new weight class, he also wants to have potentially his final fight be on the biggest stage, the UFC’s return to Madison Square Garden.

“I like Madison Square Garden,” said Hardy. “I know there’s a November card coming up and there’s still time to get on that. If the offer is right, and everything moves in that direction, if not, maybe early next year.”

Fighting on an event at Madison Square Garden is a notoriously coveted position among UFC fighters but with his work in the booth for the UFC, Hardy would likely have an inside track towards making it on the card. Plus, the UFC’s return to Madison Squarge Garden is set for November 10, giving Hardy plenty of time to take care of the one impediment standing in the way of his return: USADA.

“I need to do the four-month USADA testing pool and the likelihood is I’ve got one more fight so I’m in no massive rush to get back into that,” said Hardy. “It’s a very intrusive program which I like as a fan, as an analyst, and as a member of the UFC staff but as a fighter, I don’t need people knocking on my door at 5 o’clock in the morning knocking on my door and asking me to pee in a cup, but I will do it for one more fight when the time is right.”


MUST-READ STORIES

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Submission. Dillon Danis: A fight with Ben Askren would mean ‘an easy submission for me.’

#CamSodaForever. Missed Fists: Charles Bennett goes full ‘Krazy Horse’ at CamSoda Legends.


VIDEO STEW

Showtime did a documentary on Mauro and his battle with mental health issues. Watch this trailer.

The UFC-TMZ thing.

LFA highlights.

All Access for Jackson-Wink.

BJJ Scout’s latest.

The Last Emperor.

Marlon Wayans with a Nick Diaz story.


LISTEN UP

The MMA Hour. Interviews with Newell, Danis, Edgar, Lewis, and more.

Severe MMA. Discussing the state of the UFC and discuss each weight class.

The Co-Main Event. Discussing the triumphant return of Fedor Emelianenko.


SOCIAL MEDIA BOUILLABAISSE

Good news.

Matchmaking.

Success.

Surgery went well, 8 weeks of recovery and then straight to the gym again… looking at a fight this year for sure.

A post shared by Gunnar Nelson (@gunninelson) on Apr 30, 2018 at 11:10am PDT

Derrick Lewis.

A post shared by Derrick Lewis (@thebeastufc) on Apr 30, 2018 at 2:13pm PDT

You heard the man.

The CamSoda guy will be so disappointed in the UFC.

FIGHT.

RIP.


FIGHT ANNOUNCEMENTS

Sarah Kleczka (2-0) vs. Lisa Spangler (0-0); Invicta FC 29, May 4.

Saad Awad (22-9) vs. Ryan Couture (11-5); Bellator 201, June 29.

Israel Adesanya (13-0) vs. Brad Tavares (17-4); UFC TUF 27 Finale, July 6.

Anthony Pettis (20-7) vs. Michael Chiesa (14-3); UFC 226, July 7,

Junior dos Santos (18-5) vs. Blagoy Ivanov (16-1, 1 NC); UFC Boise, July 14.

Augusto Sakai (10-1-1) vs. Marcos Conrado Jr. (5-0); Tuesday Night Contender Series.

Johnny Walker (13-3) vs. Joao Zaiden (7-1); Tuesday Night Contender Series.

John Allan (12-4) vs. Vinicius Alves Moreira (8-1); Tuesday Night Contender Series.

Wellington Turman (13-2) vs. Leonardo Silva de Oliveira (11-2); Tuesday Night Contender Series.

Dayana Silva (7-3) vs. Gisele Moreira (7-3); Tuesday Night Contender Series.

Rogerio Bontorim (13-1) vs. Gustavo Gabriel (13-0); Tuesday Night Contender Series.

Luana Carolina Carvalho (4-1) vs. Duda Santana (3-0); Tuesday Night Contender Series.

Andre Muniz (16-4) vs. Daniel Souza Pereira (7-2); Tuesday Night Contender Series.

Mayana Kellem (7-0) vs. Mayra Bueno (3-0); Tuesday Night Contender Series.

Estefani Almeida (7-1) vs. Taila Santos (14-0); Tuesday Night Contender Series.

Allan Nascimento (17-4) vs. Raulian Paiva (17-1); Tuesday Night Contender Series.

Maria Oliveira (10-3) vs. Marina Rodriguez (9-0); Tuesday Night Contender Series.


TODAY IN MMA HISTORY

2000: Mark Coleman won the 2000 Pride Grand Prix by winning a decision over Akira Shoji in the quarterfinals, having Kazuyuki Fujita withdraw in the semifinals, and then forcing Igor Vovchanchyn to submit to knee strikes in the finals. Perhaps more importantly though, the quarterfinals of this tournament saw Kazushi Sakuraba earn the nickname “The Gracie Hunter” after defeating Royce Gracie by corner stoppage in an 90 minute match where Royce was attempting to defend the Gracie family honor after Sakuraba submitted Royler Gracie at a previous event. After the hour and half long match, Sakuraba still came out and fought Igor Vovchanchyn for 15 minutes before his corner stopped the bout. Sakuraba is the f**king man.

2009: Toby Imada performed the Submission of the Year, choking out Jorge Masvidal with an inverted triangle choke at Bellator 5.


FINAL THOUGHTS

Take it easy everyone and see y’all tomorrow.


EXIT POLL


If you find something you’d like to see in the Morning Report, hit up @JedKMeshew on Twitter and let him know about it. Also follow MMAFighting on Instagram, add us on Snapchat at MMA-Fighting, and like us on Facebook.




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