Dan Hardy may have narrowly missed out on UFC gold during his fighting career, but he has no regrets about how his career panned out.
Chatting to Luke Thomas and Brian Campbell during the live Morning Kombat show in London, Hardy said he maximized his abilities during his UFC run as he battled all the way to a title fight with Georges St-Pierre at UFC 111.
Hardy joined the UFC in 2008 and reeled off four successive wins, notching victories over Akihiro Gono, Rory Markham, Marcus Davis, and Mike Swick to earn himself a shot against GSP.
The Nottingham native went the distance in a losing effort against the Canadian, who registered his fourth successive welterweight championship defense as “The Outlaw” missed out on a UFC title at the final hurdle.
Despite losing out on his sole shot at a UFC belt, Hardy is philosophical about the bout, and said he did as well as he could have done at the time.
“I honestly don’t think I could have done any more with what I had,” he said.
“I went to train with GSP a few times and helped him out and he spent a quarter of a million (dollars) on his training camp, right? I was making $22,000. How could I compete?
“I remember showing up at the airport in Newark. I booked a Holiday Inn for my two coaches. I booked a Dodge Caliber, and Dana called me up. He’s like, ‘You’re not driving that around on the show.’ Literally, they came and collected the car and brought me a cream Escalade, like a proper d*ck, you can imagine!
“But that was the thing. I just had no money. I had a good brown belt in my corner and I had a Thai boxing coach that didn’t realize I couldn’t knee on the floor. You know what I mean? I love them both to death, but I was kind of in there on my own a little bit. And, of course, I was against GSP, one of the best of all time. And the GSP that I got in the fight was not the version that actually exists. He’s far better than that. I actually made him quite nervous, it turned out, because yeah, he realized that I wanted to hurt him.
“I’ve sparred with him kickboxing, he’s a great striker, as well. He could have given me nightmares on the feet as well. I wish he’d have given me the chance!”
As a fighter who could have made history as the first UK fighter to win a UFC title, Hardy could be forgiven for having a pang of regret over how his bout with St-Pierre unfolded. But “The Outlaw” said he has no issue with how things turned out, and insisted he has no regrets from that part of his career.
“I honestly don’t think I have any (regrets). And I think that’s the best thing about it,” he said.
“It was the best result because, if I’d have beaten him, I would have been treated like when Matt Serra had beaten him, and he would have beaten me in the rematch because I wasn’t as good a martial artist as he was at the time.
“And I’m probably not now, still – I’m definitely not now. He’s still in great shape!”
Hardy also revealed that he had signed a deal with the PFL as part of their broadcast team to be “commentating, analyzing, and a few other things,” but also said that, if the right offer presented itself, he’d still be willing to pull on the gloves and get back into competitive action again.
“I honestly probably wouldn’t ever, ever retire,” he admitted.
“If the right offer lands on the table I’ll fight somebody. (If I get offered) something that sounds like fun. I don’t want to fight somebody who I have to explain who they are to people.”