UFC: Dan Hardy – ‘I have no motivation to train for Mickey Gall’

December 17, 2016; Sacramento, CA, USA; Sage Northcutt (red gloves) fights Mickey Gall (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Golden 1 Center. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Former UFC title challenger Dan Hardy has not fought in the octagon since September 2012. Hardy still wants to return to the cage, but only if he is motivated by the right opponent.

Now sitting cage side during events in his new role as a commentator for the UFC, Dan Hardy opened up about a few topics including the now famous Mickey Gall call out.

Speaking on the Heel Hook Show with Ashley Lamprey and Nick Strickland on Thursday, Hardy addressed a recent call out from surging UFC welterweight prospect Mickey Gall.

Hardy is full of praise for the youngster but believes Gall is not the right opponent for him.

Mickey Gall called me out the other week and I would just have no motivation to fight him. He’s a good kid. I’m gonna enjoy watching him grow into a great mixed martial artist because I think he has loads of potential. Obviously his ground game’s very good, and the UFC have picked him up early so they’re breaking him in easily. He’s not getting any killers early on and I think that’s smart to build the kid up because he’s got a lot of potential.

I would have no motivation to train to fight him because I don’t really wanna mess with his career. I would like to step back and watch it. The guys I’d like to fight are the ones that are established in the game.

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Hardy kept names of potential opponents close to his chest but was clear about his motivations at this point. The fighter joined the UFC’s growing announce team in 2014 and has flourished in the role.

That has not stopped Hardy considering a return to the octagon, but he explained that if it does happen it will be for all the right reasons. For him, that does not mean a run at the UFC title. The fighter explained his unorthodox route to figuring this out.

I have no interest in rankings or belts and I don’t foresee me holding a UFC title in the future. I had a very interesting mushroom experience a while ago, when I saw a timeline of sport generally and saw how things repeat over and over and over again. As great as a champion will be now, and for as many times as they can defend their belt, there’s always gonna be another champion.

My goal was always to be the best, but that was always an illusion. There is no such thing as being the best fighter in the world. Not on any given day. You can be Demetrious Johnson and be the best guy in your division and you still can’t call yourself the best fighter in the world. It’s an unattainable achievement.

In this time off and partly in the time between my Chris Lytle fight and the (Duane) Ludwig fight as well, in that time I took to re-establish my mindset for competition. I realised I was more interested in the actual process of learning. In the journey of being tested in competition.

The last time Hardy fought for the UFC he defeated Amir Sadollah. The fight took place in his hometown of Nottingham. At the time the fighter had no idea that it could be his last.

In 2013 Doctors diagnosed Hardy with Wolff-Parkinson-White syndrome. The syndrome affects up to 0.3% of the world’s population. Hardy said that he was asymptomatic, but that people with the syndrome can suffer from dizziness, panic attacks and palpitations. It also carries a small (less than 0.6%) chance of sudden cardiac arrest.

When Doctors in Las Vegas first found out Hardy had the condition, they wanted to study him. Hardy was against the idea, but it has left him frustrated ever since.

It puts me at a very slightly higher risk, it’s like 0.6%. It’s ridiculous, but this is why I feel frustrated at the moment about it because I feel like I was caught in the American medical system. The Doctors knew that they could make money off me by at least having a look, and they knew they could stand in the way of me fighting to make me undergo whatever procedure they wanted me to. So I just instinctively said to myself, it doesn’t sound right. It doesn’t feel right when I’ve never had a problem, so why would I allow someone to go in and start poking around?

My Doctor in the UK said it’s not worth touching. So my thought at the time was to come back to the UK and get the tests done and see if I could get cleared. Then obviously the UFC put me in the commentary role and it’s literally been pedal to the floor from start to finish.

Hardy has been busy in his time away from the cage. The fighter has also found time to complete his first book. On March 23 Part Reptile: UFC, MMA and Me is released. It is already available for pre-order.

For more on Dan Hardy’s thoughts on the UK MMA scene, ongoing changes to the UFC’s announce teams, and a host of other topics be sure to check out the full interview here.

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