Dan Hardy’s relationship with the UFC and its president Dana White has apparently been in free fall for a while now. The former title contender and broadcast crew member was unceremoniously released from the world’s biggest MMA promotion in the spring of 2021, following reports of a fight between Hardy and another UFC employee.
In the time since then, the ‘Outlaw’ hasn’t shied away from criticizing his former employer, going so far as to suggest that White staged his concern for featherweight contender Calvin Kattar in a ‘behind the scenes’ mini-doc that includes footage . from Kattar’s 2021 fight against Max Holloway. The accusation did not go unnoticed by the UFC boss, who responded to Hardy during a recent press conference, calling the former welterweight “obviously bitter” and telling reporters that Hardy “was mistreating a woman who worked here.”
In a new post-event video blog at UFC 280, Hardy addressed White’s comments, admitting that while he’s “a little bitter,” it’s “unbelievable” that the promoter would frame the circumstances of his firing from the UFC as “mistreatment.” to a woman”.
Hardy then took aim at White’s newest business venture, which was recently cleared for regulation by the Nevada Athletic Commission: Dana White’s Power Slap League. White, Lorenzo Fertitta and several other UFC and Ultimate Fighter executives have teamed up to create a new television show around the cult combat sports sensation. One that Hardy was quick to remind listeners of is essentially just a ticket to unchecked brain damage.
“I know what we’re going to do,” Hardy joked of White’s Power Slap League (transcription pathway mixed martial arts fights). “We love our athletes, we care about them so much, let’s start a goddamn slap fight league. Let’s trade concussions for money. I mean, come on. And you’re going to announce that to me while I’m trying to watch MMA, while I’m trying to watch my sport? Let’s go. Say one thing, do another. Say one thing, talk some shit, do another. It’s the same pattern, over and over again.”
“How did that become a thing?” Hardy added. “I wonder, in the old days of MMA, if anyone was watching MMA and feeling the way I do about slap fights now, because I’m sure they did. I had a long conversation with someone about, ‘Oh, it’s this and that, it’s human cockfighting.’ But I can’t for the life of me understand the effort of slapping, other than making a little money and getting some money. [followers] for your Instagram. He’s cashing in on a fucking brain trauma.”
Hardy’s MMA career was sidelined in 2012 after a diagnosis of irregular heartbeat, stemming from Wolff-Parkinson-White syndrome. The 40-year-old has regularly spoken of returning to competition over the past decade, with talks for a boxing match against Tyron Woodley late last year (a fight that reportedly fell through when the ‘Chosen One’ stepped in to a rematch with Jake Paul instead).
After Woodley’s sixth-round knockout loss to Paul, the former UFC champion stated that he would prefer an MMA fight against Hardy to another boxing match. However, talk of the potential fight has largely died down in the months since.