Dan Hardy, 31, has not fought in over a year, the longest break he has taken from combat sports competitions since first taekwondo match. That was when he was seven years old.
Hardy has Wolff-Parkinson-White syndrome, a genetic condition that the Mayo Clinic defines as “the presence of an extra, abnormal electrical pathway in the heart that leads to periods of a very fast heartbeat. In most cases, the episodes of fast heartbeats aren’t life-threatening, but serious heart problems can occur."
A UFC official says the organization has “worked closely with Dan to help him get the best possible medical treatment and advice for his condition. There is no timetable for his return to the octagon.”
So what is "The Outlaw" doing? Sarah Feldberg from Las Vegas Weekly has the story.
Dan Hardy has a new tattoo on his leg. It’s a portrait of a young Bruce Lee.
“He dedicated his whole day to training,” Hardy says. “He was constantly finding new ways to better himself and improve himself.”
Hardy is doing the same today. “I’m spending all day just going from one place of exercise to another. So today I was at Sky Zone doing backflips on the trampolines, and then I went straight off to CrossFit to do some power lifting and kettlebells, and now I’m going to do some yoga, so my whole day’s full... I was walking out of Whole Foods yesterday doing flies with the shopping bags,” he laughs.
The only thing the Brit hasn’t been doing lately is fighting.
Stuck in a strange limbo, Hardy lives cheaply in Las Vegas, maintained by sponsors like Xyience and training hard for who knows what. He’s looking into opportunities in TV, and he’s started producing a new line of fitness videos labeled #hardyswolfcam.
“I’m so much more physically able now than I was before, which is crazy because now I’m potentially moving toward the end of my career, and I’ve really just figured out how my body works properly,” Hardy says.
The questions of if and when Hardy will get to fight for the UFC again are still hanging in the air, but the how is not. Hardy could have an ablation, a catheter-based procedure that feeds wires into the heart and cauterizes the tissue to block the electrical charge from passing through, essentially curing him of Wolff-Parkinson-White.
“It’s the easiest thing for everybody apart from me,” Hardy says. “My issue is that I’ve never had any kind of symptoms or problems, so it’s not something I feel needs fixing.”
“That’s just not me. It’s a done deal. But if I can prove to the UFC and to everybody else that there’s no reason I can’t fight, then … I don’t see why they would stop me.”
“Worst-case scenario, if I don’t get cleared to fight, I’ll go to Thailand and do Thai boxing. I will fight again. My heart has been in my body and survived so many extreme training sessions and situations that it won’t fail me. I don’t feel like it would. But if you start poking at it …”
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