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One-time welterweight title challenger Dan Hardy confirms his release from UFC fight contract

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Dan Hardy
Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

For the first time in 13 years, Dan Hardy is no longer a UFC fighter.

The former welterweight title challenger has been released from his fight contract with the UFC after making the request with the promotion. Hardy confirmed to MMA Fighting that he received his release letter from the UFC on Tuesday night.

“The Outlaw” had been actively pursuing his release after his relationship with the UFC turned sour following his dismissal as part of the broadcast team due to a “disagreement” with a UFC employee. Hardy later said he regretted the altercation he had with the UFC over his exit from the broadcast team, but he still sought to cut ties with the organization as he looked to restart his fight career.

“The only thing that’s happened is I’ve asked two different people for my release from the UFC,” Hardy told Submission Radio earlier this week. “Because obviously with one contract coming to an end, it would make sense for me to leave with my fight contract, as well. So I’m currently trying to get my release from the UFC, so then I can start looking at other places. I’ve got a few ideas and a few options that I’d like to consider.”

Hardy, 38, hasn’t fought since 2012, when he was diagnosed with Wolff-Parkinson-White syndrome, a heart condition that can cause an abnormally fast heartbeat, palpitations, shortness of breath. In rare cases, cardiac arrest can occur.

In 2018, Hardy revealed that he had been cleared to compete again. But despite his claims that he was going to be entering the UFC’s anti-doping program to prepare for a return to action, he never actually joined the pool for active fighters.

Overall, Hardy amassed a 6-4 record in the UFC with wins over names such as Duane “Bang” Ludwig and Mike Swick while falling to veterans like Anthony “Rumble” Johnson and Carlos Condit. A four-fight win streak when he started with the promotion earned Hardy a shot at UFC gold but he came up short, losing a unanimous decision to Georges St-Pierre in 2010.

With his UFC released now secured, Hardy can begin pursuing a new fighting home after previously mentioning Asia as a possible destination with interest in potentially joining RIZIN or ONE Championship. As of now, however, Hardy is just entering free agency as he looks to restart his fighting career.