Early last year UFC welterweight Dan "The Outlaw" Hardy was diagnosed with Wolff-Parkinson-White syndrome, a rare heart disorder sufficiently serious for the California State Athletic Commission to bar Hardy from fighting Matt Brown at UFC on FOX 7 back on April 2. The syndrome causes most patients to have heart palpitations and a rapid heartbeat. Hardy however is symptom free, with a resting pulse rate of 42, and a maximum of 200.
Hardy has decided to forgo surgery, but on the advice of doctors, the UFC is insistent that "The Outlaw" have corrective surgery.
“I think the problem is, the UFC are getting the best information that they can, but they’re sending me to a cardiologist in the U.S. and, because of the way the health care system is set up, it’s a business,” said Hardy to MMAJunkie's Ben Fowlkes. “Unless I have surgery, I’m not a customer. So it’s like, are you dealing with a cardiologist or are you dealing with a salesman? I’ve been going to cardiologists and they say, ‘Yeah, yeah, get it done.’ That’s the information they relay to the UFC, and so the UFC thinks it’s essential for my own safety. I really don’t think it is, and neither does my doctor in the U.K.”
“I really believe it’s a matter of finding a cardiologist who’s not trying to make a bunch of cash, who can go to the UFC and say, ‘Yes, there is this thing, but it’s not a big deal and he’s never had symptoms.' Just in case, I can sign a bit of paperwork that says if my chest explodes on a pay-per-view, I knew it was going to happen. There’s got to be some way. We get punched in the face. We know how dangerous the sport is anyway.”
If the UFC does not relent, or MDs come to an alternate prescription, then Hardy will not fight again, although he says "I can still hold out hope.” Now, almost 18 months after his last fight, Hardy has found a new role in the organization - color commentator for the new streaming service FightPass.
“It’s really the same stuff I’ve been doing for years as a fighter,” said Hardy. “You watch the DVDs and you analyze the guys and discuss them with your teammates and coaches. I’m doing the same thing but discussing it with a co-commentator. Fortunately, he’s a UFC nerd as well, so we got on really well.”
“Obviously I don’t want to upset anybody. I know how hard all these guys are working for these fights. That’s one thing I can bring to the table. I know what they’re sacrificing to be in there. I’m not going to talk down to anybody, but I am going to be honest. I can see when a guy is running from a fight, when a guy’s hiding from a fight, and I don’t mind saying it. The bottom line is, if the fighter doesn’t want to be talked about like that, then come in and have a fight.”
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