Dan Hardy has been conspicuously absent from recent UFC broadcasts, and according to the one-time welterweight title challenger and longtime commentator, that is no accident.
Following a report from The Wrestling Observer, Hardy on Twitter revealed that he is no longer working with the promotion after a “disagreement” with a female employee.
Per the Observer, Hardy was terminated by UFC and UK broadcast partner BT Sport after he got into an “argument” with the employee. Hardy, the report stated, remains under contract as a fighter, though he is effectively retired due to a previously disclosed heart condition.
Responding to a story from BJPenn.com on the news, the 38-year-old Brit disputed the characterization that his departure was due to being fired.
“I am no longer working directly with the UFC,” Hardy wrote. “The ‘female’ part is irrelevant. It was a disagreement over an opportunity missed, or withheld, and I’d love some answers but can’t get any.”
Rather misleading headline there, @bjpenndotcom. Not entirely accurate either.— Dan Hardy (@danhardymma) March 7, 2021
I am no longer working directly with the UFC. The ‘female’ part is irrelevant. It was a disagreement over an opportunity missed, or withheld, and I’d love some answers but can’t get any. https://t.co/OWN3huP8Pe
After his career was put on indefinite hold due to the serious heart condition, Hardy transitioned to commentating and quickly advanced as he became part of the promotion’s A-team for overseas events. Additionally, he was the star of several pieces of shoulder programming, breaking down big UFC fights.
This past fall, Hardy drew headlines when he clashed with longtime referee Herb Dean over a call at UFC Fight Island 3. Hardy shouted at Dean to stop the fight when Jai Herbert was knocked out by Francisco Trinaldo, and afterward the two had a heated verbal exchange that was caught on camera. The UFC said it was investigating the incident.
Afterward, Hardy and Dean both released videos defending their actions at the event; Dean said the stoppage was just, while Hardy said it represented a pattern of missed calls (Hardy’s video was later removed for violating YouTube’s terms of service).
“Herb needs to understand that there was a mistake made here, and there needs to be accountability that needs to be taken,” Hardy said. “It’s just a learning opportunity, and if it’s not taken as a learning opportunity, then we’re all losing, especially fighters and brain cells. ... We need to upgrade the awareness of some of these officials, and we also need to hold them accountable for situations like this, when they can’t take it upon themself to do it.”
This past month, Hardy appeared to shift his focus from commentating to a comeback in the octagon, calling out veteran Matt Brown, whom he was scheduled to fight before his condition, known as Wolf Heart Syndrome, forced him out of the fight. Brown instead was booked against Dhiego Lima, and Hardy pivoted to one-time title challenger Nick Diaz, who hasn’t fought since 2015. The Diaz fight has yet to materialize.