Former UFC welterweight title challenger, Dan Hardy has called for promotional leader, Dana White to grant his fellow one-time title chaser, Nick Diaz his release from the UFC if he has doubts over his willingness to fight — before suggesting a showdown against the Stockton favourite under the Rizin FF banner.
Hardy, who himself has called for his release from the promotion this week despite plans to snap a nine-year hiatus from the sport, seen his contract as a broadcaster and colour commentator terminated earlier this year.
Noting his interest in potential showdowns against the likes of both Nick and Nate Diaz as well as former foe, Carlos Condit, Matt Brown, and Donald Cerrone, Hardy admitted during a recent interview with Submission Radio that he was hoping to secure his release from the UFC entirely, given the fact he has found it difficult to arrange his proposed comeback fight, and even if he does, he has doubts surrounding the nature of the opponent.
“I’ve asked two different people for my release from the UFC because obviously with one contract coming to an end (broadcaster) it makes sense for me to leave with my fight contract as well,” Hardy said. “I’m currently trying to get my release from the UFC so then I can start looking at other places. I’ve got a few ideas, a few options that I’d like to consider. It’s just getting hold of someone. I might have to recruit Joshua Fabia to get someone’s attention at some point.“
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“I think if it even got to the stage where I could get (the) UFC to give me an opponent, it’s not going to be one of the ones that I want,” Hardy explained. “They’re not matching veterans with veterans anymore. They’re matching veterans with the new guys coming up so they can build the next name. I’m not interested in fighting someone nobody knows. You want ‘Cowboy’ (Cerrone), Matt Brown. They would never in a million years give me the Nick Diaz fight. They’ll use Nick Diaz to build someone else up. I just don’t want to be in that situation. Plus, my fight contract is eight years old so you can imagine the numbers on it.“
For former WEC and Strikeforce welterweight champion, Diaz, he was in attendance at UFC 261 in April at the Vystar Veterans Memorial Arena, and following the event, the aforenoted, White claimed that he was set to meet with the Stockton native backstage to discuss a potential comeback to the sport, with speculation rife regarding his return.
In some recent developments, White explained to ESPN MMA reporter, Brett Okamoto that he was skeptical that Diaz did, in fact, intend on making a return to the Octagon for the first time since a 2015 fight with former middleweight best, Anderson Silva.
“It went good,” White spoke of the meeting with Diaz. “My whole thing with Nick Diaz is I just question how bad he really wants to fight. We got together, we had a great conversation, talked about a possible comeback for him. I just don’t know. We’ll see how it plays out this summer and the rest of the year.“
“Just the amount of time that he’s taken off already,” White explained. “When you hear him talk about fighting, you hear him talk about the sport, and I sit down daily or talk to daily (with) hungry, young savages, they want to break into the top-ten, become world champions, all that stuff.Nick Diaz has done it all, seen it all, he’s been in big fights, I just don’t see that in him when I talk to him.“
Whilst the fighting future of Diaz still remains murky despite promising talks last month, Hardy has today asked White to release Diaz from his contract with the promotion if he’s questioning his commitment to making a comeback, suggesting a fight with the veteran under the Rizin FF banner in Japan.
“If Uncle Dana (White) doesn’t think @nickdiaz209 (Nick Diaz) actually wants to fight, they should release him so we can fight on #Rizin in Japan,” Hardy tweeted.”Oldschool #PrideFC style. The #GoldenAge of #MMA.“
Nottingham native, Hardy made his most recent professional mixed martial arts appearance back in September of 2012 in a hometown return against Amir Sadollah — scoring a unanimous decision victory as well as notching his second consecutive win following a knockout success against Duane Ludwig.
For Cesar Gracie standout, Diaz, the veteran Californian last featured opposite the above-mentioned, Silva at UFC 183 in January of 2015. Overturned from a unanimous decision loss to an official ‘No Contest’ — Diaz tested positive for marijuana, while Silva returned a positive test for the banned substances, drostanolone, and androsterone.
Senior writer for FightBook MMA. An aspiring mixed martial arts reporter based in Ireland. Producer of news articles, interviews, opinion features, and exclusive features such as, ‘The Fallout’, ‘The Breakdown, and, ‘This Week In MMA’.
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