Dan Hardy (25-10 MMA) is set to make his return to combat sports, as he’s scheduled to take on fellow UFC veteran Diego Sanchez (30-14 MMA). The two are expected to square off in an exhibition boxing match that will take place in on July 2, in Manchester, England. The anticipated bout will take place at the AO arena, and is currently scheduled to be headlined by an enjoyable bout between Ricky Hatton and Marco Antonio Barrera.
It’s been nearly a decade since ‘The Outlaw’ last saw competition, and at 39 years of age, many are left wondering why the sudden return now. Hardy recently spoke with Ariel Helwani on The MMA Hour to clear the air on why he’s returning to combat sports, and his plans to finish Sanchez, without inflicting long-term damage to his opponent.
Dan Hardy Explains Why Diego Sanchez Fight “Makes Sense”
“The honest truth is this is a good middle ground financially, because what we were being offered for MMA was pitiful, and what was being offered for bare-knuckle was three times what we were being offered for exhibition boxing” states Hardy.
“I could either fight him in MMA, and we’d have to fight four or five times to make the same money, or I could fight him in bare-knuckle and do lots of really serious damage to him. “You could add all my paychecks together from the UFC and I’m still making more doing this.”
With 10 UFC bouts under his belt, one can only imagine the kind of coin Hardy will receive for the bout. The fight will be eight rounds of boxing, with each round being two minutes long. As for his plans to beat Sanchez, Hardy states that he has no ill will against his 40 year old opponent.
“I’m fighting him in 16-ounce gloves over two-minute rounds,” says Hardy. Most likely, I’m going to stop him with shots to the body, and he’s going to remember going down to the canvas.”
“I’ve Got No Interest In Brutalizing Diego Sanchez” – Dan Hardy Claims
“I’ve got no interest in brutalizing Diego Sanchez, but we’re going to have a hard sparring match, and I’m going to try and hurt him as much as I can without doing permanent damage, and we’re both going to walk away with a lot of money in our pockets.”
‘The Outlaw’ goes on to say, “We’re not going to have to worry about the shit we got paid by the UFC. So this is a big turning point for both of us, and I think he’s just as grateful for this opportunity as I am.”
Diego Sanchez has been extremely active in MMA, during the ten years that Hardy’s been on the sidelines. We last saw him in action in March of this year, when he dropped a unanimous decision to Kevin Lee. It was Sanchez’s first fight outside of the UFC since 2004 when he burst onto the scene with help from the first season of The Ultimate Fighter. Both men are entering the contest with no prior boxing bouts on their resume, as they get set to stand toe to toe on July 2.
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