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Wednesday, August 4, 2021

‘Guesses & assumptions’: Sanko rubbishes rumors as Hardy confirms he’s ‘no longer working directly with UFC’

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‘Guesses & assumptions’: Sanko rubbishes rumors as Hardy confirms he’s ‘no longer working directly with UFC’

Former UFC title contender turned commentator Dan Hardy has confirmed that he has parted ways with the UFC and broadcaster BT Sports amid reports that he became involved in a “disagreement” with an employee.

Hardy, who was defeated by Georges St-Pierre in his sole UFC title bout in 2010, has garnered a reputation for being one of the sport’s most respected analysts since being forced to step away from his fight career after being diagnosed with a heart condition in 2013.
Also on rt.com ‘Do your job!’ UFC commentator Dan Hardy rages at referee Herb Dean for late stoppage in Fight Island bout (VIDEO)
The Brit, though, has been noticeably absent from UFC programming in recent weeks and it was reported by The Wrestling Observer’s Dave Meltzer over the weekend that ‘The Outlaw’ had parted ways with both the UFC and British broadcast partner BT Sports owing to what was described as an “argument” between Hardy and a co-worker. 

There has been no definitive word as to the specifics of what happened, but Hardy took to Twitter to dispute an MMA blog’s version of the bust-up.

Rather misleading headline there,” wrote Hardy. “Not entirely accurate either. I am no longer working directly with the UFC. The ‘female’ part is irrelevant. It was a disagreement over an opportunity missed, or withheld, and I’d love some answers but can’t get any.”

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Hardy previously hit the headlines last year when, while commentating at a UFC event on ‘Fight Island’, he approached referee Herb Dean to protest what he viewed as a late stoppage in a fight between Hardy’s compatriot Jai Herbert and Brazilian vet Francisco Trinaldo. 

Herb needs to understand that there was a mistake made here, and there needs to be accountability that needs to be taken,” Hardy said at the time.

It’s just a learning opportunity, and if it’s not taken as a learning opportunity, then we’re all losing, especially fighters and brain cells. We need to upgrade the awareness of some of these officials, and we also need to hold them accountable for situations like this, when they can’t take it upon [themselves] to do it.”

UFC boss Dana White, though, was reportedly furious at Hardy’s on-air approach to the referee and reminded him of his responsibilities when it comes to dealing with officials and members of the various athletic commissions which govern the sport in the United States.

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As for the reason’s for Hardy’s departure from the UFC commentary booth, reports remain scant – but one person who moved quickly to rubbish rumors was ESPN host Laura Sanko, who penned a message online to say that Hardy has been nothing but “kind and gracious” to her since they began working together.

Lots of people guessing or somehow assuming that the female referred to in reference [Dan Hardy] is me,” she wrote. “It is NOT. I have never had anything but wonderful and professional interactions with Dan. 

“I don’t know any of the details of the situation and can only speak to the fact that Dan has always been a great co-worker to me on every level. In fact, he went out of his way to be kind and gracious to me when I first arrived at the UFC.”

Hardy last competed in mixed martial arts in 2012 but has recently stoked the flames of a potential comeback, calling for fights with the likes of Matt Brown and Nick Diaz – though his current status (or lack thereof) with the UFC surely puts and end to any talk of an Octagon return for the Englishman. 

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‘Guesses & assumptions’: Sanko rubbishes rumors as Hardy confirms he’s ‘no longer working directly with UFC’
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