MMA legend Dan Hardy is still contemplating a return to the octagon. He thinks it won’t be as difficult as many expect.
Hardy never officially retired from MMA but he hasn’t competed since September 2012, when he defeated Amir Sadollah in Nottingham, England.
The 38-year-old was scheduled to return to action in 2013 but was later diagnosed with Wolff-Parkinson-White Syndrome (also known as “Wolf Heart”) and forced to stay sidelined.
He has been teasing his return ever since. He admitted that after watching older fighters such as Frankie Edgar and Ricardo Lamas fight, he’s been motivated to make a comeback.
“All the time,” Hardy told MMA Junkie Radio. “Frankie Edgar is still going at it. I mean, I felt like I was still in school when Frankie Edgar was making his UFC debut, and I’m pretty sure I’m older than him still. What we realize about MMA is that it’s a lot more down to IQ and experience.
We’re having a lot of fighters that are having success later in their life. I know Lamas was talking about retiring at the weekend, but I thought he looked great. I thought he looked in fantastic condition, and he’s 38 as well.
“The other thing that made me laugh – because, as you know, I do my research – when I was researching for the ‘Fight Island’ finale, the last event on there, there were four guys on the card who were older than me. Two of them were fighting each other: (Mauricio) ‘Shogun’ (Rua) and (Antonio Rogerio) Nogueira. (Francisco) Trinaldo is older than me.
I think there were four guys older than me. But the other truth is, that there was one guy that had more MMA experience than me. I’ve had a lot of fights. I’ve been around here a long time. I’ve only been knocked out in a fight once. I’ve not drank in years. I’m not taking punches to the head on a daily and weekly basis.”
Hardy hasn’t taken much damage throughout his career and thinks the time off has helped.
“As much as I look at these guys and go ‘Wow they’re still performing well at 38, 40, 42,’ I’m also looking at how much wear and tear they’ve got compared to me,” Hardy said. “So if and when I do decide to come back, someone’s gonna get it – and I don’t think people realize that.”