Daniel Mark "Dan" Hardy is an English former mixed martial artist who fought in the welterweight division. During his professional MMA career starting in 2004, Hardy fought in various promotions such as Cage Force and Cage Warriors before signing a contract with the Ultimate Fighting Championship in 2008.
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I've done this once before and had a lot of fun, and a lot has happened since then. I'm now a UFC commentator and analyst, I've moved back to the UK and am helping promote the sport in Europe, and I have my first book coming out!
'Part Reptile' will be released on March 23rd, and is available for pre-order now. It's autobiographical and follows my career in mixed martial arts from my very first Taekwondo class at six years old, to where I am right now.
I'm happy to answer any questions on any subject, from the McGregor / Mayweather drama to the psychedelic experience, and beyond!
I am looking forward to hearing from you all.
Hey Dan what was the deal with mean mugging me in waitrose westfield a few months back?
Maybe you looked like to wanted a fight!
Sometimes I forget that people might recognize me and think they are eyeballing me...
Would you go on The Joe Rogan Experience? That would be amazing!
I would go on again, yes. The last time I was out in the US he invited me to do Fight Companion, but I was busy at the Fox studios for the fights.
Hey Dan, big fan, both of your fighting style and analytical breakdowns. I've been an adamant defender of yours as a black belt keyboard warrior for many years. It used to be popular to hate on you at one point because you lost a few fights in a row, I'd also be the one going "When have you ever seen a boring Dan Hardy fight? The guy always goes out and fights his heart out". Also the fact your losses came to GSP, Condit, Rumble and Lytle I felt gutted people weren't taking into account the calibre of your competition.
Anyway I was lucky enough to see your last fight in Nottingham when you fought Amir as I live nearby in Lincoln, I remember you saying how gutted you were with your performance and that you really wanted the finish. I couldn't believe it because you dominated him and you stuck to your guns and tried to put on an absolute banger but it takes two to tango.
Just wanted to ask if you still follow the muay thai world and if so what your thoughts are on a lot of top tier talent transitioning from muay thai to mma?
Thank you, my friend.
I think its exciting when world class combat athletes from any sport decide to cross over. There is a lot of room for improvement with MMA striking in general, and the only way to get there is to introduce a few killers from the striking world. I think women's MMA has benefited most so far, what with Joanna, Holm and Shevchenko. I'd like to see more male fighters cross over.
How did you get the nickname "The Outlaw"?
The full story is in my book, but basically I left a team and my old training partners were 'advised' by the coach not to train with me. I signed up to the old cagewarriors.com forum to find training partners, and used TheOutlaw as my handle, because I'd been 'outlawed' from the Nottingham MMA community as I knew it. I also liked the link with Robin Hood!
If you were to return who would you like to fight?
Hard to say. A veteran. Someone that has as much experience as me, and knows their game. Someone fun to fight, and easy to get motivated for in training.
Would you rematch Condit?
Do you think Conor will ever come back? If so, who would you like him to fight?
I want to see Ferguson, then Khabib, then Diaz 3, then GSP, then Mayweather.
Dan, massive fan. Too new of an MMA fan to have seen your fights live, but your breakdowns are the best in the game. I actually spent the last few hours of my birthday today watching old breakdowns. How many hours do you put into one on average? What would be your dream fight to break down?
By the way, you might want to message the mods here or come over to /r/MMA to do this AMA, might get a lot more traction that way.
Thanks for the tip. I haven't really figured the site out yet!
I'm glad you are enjoying the breakdowns. I would say I do about 10-15 hours per fighter, and I also like to mimic them in training to really understand how they move.
How was the ayahuasca trip?
Hey Dan, huge fan, would love any insight:
How did your relationship with psychedelics change or evolve following your break from the cage?
Roughly how long did it take you to complete Part Reptile, and what were interesting insights you discovered about yourself and/or life throughout the process?
Thanks man, hope to see you fight again soon!
Why you ducking Mickey?
Dan, huge fan. Where do you think the UFC is headed with the new owners, WME-IMG? Are we looking at a sport that is going more towards entertainment, "money fights" and the days of more deserving opponents being gone?
Also, thoughts on the culture of weight cutting in MMA/WMMA and potential solutions?
I think the solution to the weight cutting issue is to monitor the fighters weight closer, and to introduce more weight classes. I'd like to see 161lbs, 177lbs, 195lbs, 235lbs.
The new ownership from what I've seen, is looking at pushing the UFC globally. The Fertitta ownership was amazing and I will be forever grateful for the risk they took in the beginning, and the strong decision-making that guided the UFC through those early years. They could only take it so far though, and they were good enough to admit that. WME IMG will make the sport of MMA bigger than its ever been. Of course they will cater to the entertainment aspect of the sport, but I don't think it will change anything on a competitive level. We also have to realize that the active career of an MMA fighter is relatively short once they reach the top, and when someone like GSP returns, we should expect a few ripples in the sport. He's a superstar! I want to see the fight. Whether I want to see the Romero fight more or not, I don't know, but I know what the pay-per-view numbers will say. Nothing wrong with giving the people what they want!
What is your reaction to being called out by Mickey Gall? Will you be seeing him at UFC London as he is a guest fighter?
It made me laugh! He's a good kid, but I have no interest in fighting him and he knows it. I will be hosting the Q&A before the weigh-ins and I'm sure we'll have some good banter, but its not a fight I'm interested in.
Hey Dan, big fan of your work as a fighter and analyst.
Will we be seeing more episodes of your more "hands-on" breakdowns, like the "On the mat" ones ?
It's one of my favourite breakdowns since you actually shown the techniques but I feel there's too few of them being made!
Would also be awesome to make a similar type of analysis post fight, looking at the techniques the fighters used on the weekend!
I've suggested the post-fight show and it looks like something that might happen if not, I'll do something myself. There will be a new UFC Breakdown out this week ahead of UFC London!
How do you think MMA will evolve in the next 10 years stylistically?
I think transitions will be smoother, conditioning with be better so the slow positions and stalling won't last as long. I also think that striking will improve massively.
Hey Dan, without giving anything away that you shouldn't, would you like to replace rogan when he retires? I'd love to see you and Cruz be full time commentators.
Nobody will replace Rogan because he has his own style, just as all of the UFC's commentary team do. I'd certainly like to have the opportunity to pick up some of the comms jobs if he does step away, but as a fan I will miss him.
Hi Dan, huge fan of what you're doing and hope to see you back in the cage soon. I've been following MMA for a while, but just started fully following it. I've been meaning to start training but I'm afraid that at 21 it might be too late. As far as I'm concerned you're the best mma analyst so your in put would mean a lot, any advice? I have some training in muay thai in judo, but that was a while ago now.
Best of luck with your book and future endeavours!
Never too late! My grandfather started Taekwondo at sixty. I didn't have my first professional fight until I was 22, and that's still really early. The prime of MMA fighters is looking like 30-35 if we look at the ages of the champions and contenders. Get stuck in!
Would you rather see Stipe Vs Fedor or Silva Vs GSP ?
Thanks for the great analysis work!
Silva v GSP. I'm ready for Fedor to retire now.
Drunk Bisping or Stock Market GSP? Who wins?
Stock Market wins the press conference, but a sober Bisping on fight night is not so beatable.
Dan, what would you say was the highlight of your career?
Either beating Swick in Manchester, Ludwig in Vegas, or Sadollah in Nottingham. There have been many, many good memories though.
Will you be attending UFC London? My first event and would love to meet you there!
I will be hosting the Q&A with a rockstar list of guest fighters, then the weigh-ins, and then I'll be on the mic Octagonside the following day!
Enjoy the show! Nothing like a live UFC!
Favourite UFC card?
UFC 38 was awesome. As was UFC 100, but 206 had some of the best fights!
Hey Mr. Hardy, if a movie was made about your life, what actor would you want to potray you?
Unfortunately Johnny Depp is older than me, so logistically is probably wouldn't work... Tom Hardy would be good though!
Hey Dan, what are your thoughts on Fight Network releasing Robin Black?
I hadn't heard. It's a shame though. I think he offers a lot to the sport and there is definitely a market for his style of analysis. I'm sure it won't hold him back though. He will find another platform for his work.
Can you give us an update on your health? and the idea of fighting again??
Secondly, you have been knocked out in your career. How do you think this affected your ability to take damage? We have seen many fighters that used to have chins, get KO'd and since then if you look at their records KOs seem to come easier for them. Are you a believer in the "Once your chin gets cracked you lose it."? Can you mitigate the damage in some way? (Bisping seems to be one)
Also i really love the analysis you provide. Thanks for doing this AMA.
I'm healthy! I am picking up training to see how my body responds and will go from there. I have paperwork needed to get clearance though.
I've fortunately only been knocked out twice. Once in training at ATT and once in competition. I don't think it affected me at all. There certainly seems to be a connection with fighters that get rocked a lot and a diminishing ability to take punishment. I think the bottom line is to not get hit as much as possible, and the main focus there should be in training. If you spar hard all the time, don't expect your chin to last your career.
What is the worst moment of your career?
Probably in the locker room after the Anthony Johnson fight. I was sat icing my dislocated thumb and thinking that my career was over. I hadn't felt defeated until that point.
When's the comeback happening Dan?
Not sure mate... you will know when it happens though.
Hi Dan, was at your Q&A with Maia in Manchester last year, both hugely intelligent fighters, what fighter impressed you the most with their 'Fight IQ'?
Maia is a very intelligent fighter, as is Gegard Mousasi and Mike Pyle. Frank Mir is also very sharp, and would be a good analyst.
Hi Dan, hope you see this. I've always been fond of your breakdowns of fighter techniques. Would you ever consider making your own fight companion? Also a podcast would be dope
I would, and I might!
Do you ever regret following everyone back on twitter?
hahaha! No, I wish I could get to everyone but its impossible!
Are there any plans for you to be the third man in the booth on an upcoming PPV?
Not that I've heard. I think DC, Cruz and Stann have the PPV spot on lockdown for the moment.
Completing the Clipper Round the World Yacht Race must have been incredible. Will you be doing it again?
I am very tempted. At the moment my schedule is so busy that I don't see a window, but I am still working with Clipper to prepare the next lot of competitors, so there's always a chance I might jump onboard!
Hi Dan - huge fan of your work on Inside The Octagon and you as a fighter. I have 2 questions for you.
What inspires you to be a martial artist? Like what makes you so crazy about it?
Who (dead or alive) would you have as a guest appearance on Inside the Octagon?
Thanks for taking the time to do this!!!
Congratulations on becoming an author! In that vein:
All the best mate!
I assume that being a veteran of the sports, you know many of the fighters personally.
Is it hard for you to criciticize fighters, point out their weaknesses when analyzing and stay neutral during commentating if you have sympathy/personal history with this person?
I do know most of the fighters, but I like to feel I am fair and honest in everything I do. If you hear me say it, then believe I would say it to the person I'm referring to. If we can't take objecting criticism then we are never going to reach our true potential. I respect everyone that steps into the arena, whether I know them or not I'm there to discuss and analyze their skillset as honestly and impartially as possible.
What's up Dan, been a big fan of yours for a long time as a fighter and a personality - how would you describe your dynamic with John as an analyst and is there anything you had to do to adapt into your newer role on the desk as opposed to in the cage?
John is an awesome partner on the mic. He is prepared, organized and researched, and you can always rely on him showing up. We had to find a rhythm with each other but it didn't take us long. My evolution from fighter to analyst really just involved more research and a more conscious approach to speaking. I tend to get excited and talk too fast, and I'm learning to slow it down a little and enunciate better.
Hey Dan , what do you think about the idea of a straight 15/25 min fight without breaks in between the rounds? Also is there any chance to see the on Joe's broadcast?
Thank you for your time Dan!!!
I'm not against the idea, I used to enjoy the ten minute round in Pride. There is a lot of insight given and adjustments made between rounds, that can make the fight more interesting and entertaining. They would also be a nightmare to score if they weren't divided up!
When you eventually come back, is moving up a weight class something you've considered?
I don't know if cutting is something you struggle with. If so, you vs Johny Hendricks at 185 would be a great fight.
It's more likely that if I fight again it will be at lightweight. It depends on the opponent though really.
Hey Dan been a big fan for years, especially the recent transition to commentating / analysis. Just gotta know dude whether EA have you and John on board for UFC3?
It's been mentioned but nothing confirmed yet!
What are your views on combat sports and CTE? Has your perspective changed during your time away from the octagon?
I think we need to better understand the risks and communicate them to the athletes. Combat sports aren't going to go away. They are an integral part of our self expression as human beings. The only solution is to help prevent it as much as possible. At the end of the day we all know the risks and make the choice to compete anyway. Fear of damage or injury would stop us doing most things in life. Research and education is the key. In my opinion a lot of the risk is in sparring and training, and if that can be addressed then we will see healthier, safe fighters in the future.
Do you have any pre-fight rituals?
Thanks for doing this, I'm a huge fan!
The hair cut was always a ritual for me. I also used to draw a skull and crossed bones on my handwraps before the fight. Nothing that stayed with me throughout my career though.
you're one of my favorites, dan. i was at ufc 111 it was the only event i attended live and although you didn't win you put on an entertaining fight. my question was were you close to tapping to gsp's armbars? it seems gsp didnt push his hips properly but they still looked like deep armbars.
No mate, I wasn't close to tapping. The kimura was worse than the armbar though!
You're staying retired, right?
Really hope we see you in the cage again mate, always loved your fights. Any idea on an ETA? Goign to do a test cut/camp first or something?
Gonna do half a camp and see how my body feels first.
Hi Dan. First of all I'm a huge fan of inside the octagon and you're a fantastic analyst.
I was wondering about your opinion on weight cutting in mma. Do you think some measures should be put into place to prevent people cutting huge amounts of weight? Both to prevent health issues and situations where one fighter has a huge weight advantage over another (I.e. Rumble Johnson against you)
Have a look a bit higher up mate. There's a more in-depth answer there. Basically, monitoring fighters weight better between fights, and more weight divisions.
What's your favorite sport to watch other than MMA?
Kickboxing, professional grappling and ice hockey.
Would you fight Baruto?
What would be your gamelan?
Run laps until hes tired.
If you never got to fight again (hopefully you do fight again), would you be happy with your career?
I would, because I'm happy, but I know I could have given a better showing of my skills.
What's your opinion on top contenders getting leap frogged by big names for money fights?
I understand it and I do want to see Bisping defend against Romero. I can't pretend I won't be looking forward to the GSP fight though!
Hi Dan, huge fan and think its awesome that you interact with the fans like this:
What do you think of Paul Daley's current streak in Bellator and how do you see his fight with Rory playing out?
Also, out of all the people you've fought, who hits the hardest?
Hope to see you back in the Octagon
Rory is a whole other level to the rest of the Bellator, but Paul has a left hook like no other. We don't know how Rory will look after this time off, or if his nose will hold up, and I know Paul will test it. I think its a fascinating fight and am glad its in the main event position.
After such a long absence, have you changed the way you fight?
Also has your role as an analysis helped identify holes in your game?
I'm a lot smarter and a lot more well rounded now. I think this job has added a lot to my game. It's allowed me to sit and absorb hours and hours of fighting.