Dan “The Outlaw” Hardy, the popular and charismatic formerwelterweight title contender, will serve as the color commentator for six UFC Fight Night events to be screened exclusively on UFC FIGHT PASS, the Ultimate Fighting Championship organization announced on Friday.
Known for his punching power, punkMohawk hairstyle and quick wit, Hardy remains the only British fighter to ever challenge for a UFC title, losing in a memorably courageous performance to at UFC 111 in March 2010.
Hardy has an MMA record of 25-10, 1NC, but is currently off the active roster having been diagnosed with a rare heart condition a year ago. Although Hardy, still only 31, continues to train in MMA and is fully focused on his new position within the UFC.
Hardy’s first assignment at Octagonside will come on March 8th, when he will be calling the action at the same O2 Arena in London where he twice competed as a UFC welterweight contender.
The Briton said:
I’m very excited to be putting on the headset for the UFC. I’ve got the same nerves and butterflies that I had when I first signed for the company as a fighter back in 2008. I think I can bring a great perspective to the color commentator’s role. Researching and breaking down UFC fighters and fights is what I’ve been doing for over 10 years now, only now I am not just concentrating on my own division, but every division. I think I bring a different perspective to the role. Not only have I fought and trained with some of the best fighters in the world, I think I’ve had one of the most varied careers in the history of the UFC.
If we only look at my 6-4 record in the UFC, I’ve done it all. I’ve knocked people out and I’ve been knocked out. I’ve headlined huge Pay-Per-Views and I’ve fought on the prelims. I’ve fought guys I liked and respected, and I’ve fought in grudge matches. I’ve been in every high-pressure situation a fighter can find himself in, from challenging a pound-for-pound champion like Georges St-Pierre to fighting in my hometown with all my family and friends in the front row to fighting to stay in the UFC when I was 0-4 a couple of years ago.
I’ve packed a lot of experience into my 10 fights in the UFC, and I’m looking forward to sharing that experience and insight with the fans.
UFC Chief Content Officer Marshall Zelaznik added:
Dan is extremely popular among our fans, and we are very excited that he will be bringing his wealth of experience to six of the upcoming 2014 UFC FIGHT PASS Fight Nights.
I’d like to add that, as popular as Dan is, he auditioned for the position. And he blew us away with his audition and got the job because he is the best candidate. He has a unique perspective and style of delivery which I know UFC FIGHT PASS subscribers will enjoy.
Hardy will be part of an all-British announcing team for the six exclusive UFC FIGHT PASS events which will emanate from the British Isles, mainland Europe and the Middle East.
Sitting next to the Outlaw at Octagonside will be veteran mixed martial arts play-by-play broadcaster John Gooden, while the vastly experienced emcee Andy Friedlander will be introducing fighters from inside the Octagon, serving as the Octagon announcer.
Gooden has earned his reputation on the European mixed martial arts circuit as an insightful play-by-play man and television pundit. Hailing from Greater London, he has competed at a national level in both judo and karate and trained for the last decade in Muay Thai and Brazilian jiu-jitsu. Gooden will now call mixed martial arts events exclusively for the UFC.
Friedlander brings a wealth of experience to his role as the voice of the Octagon. He has served as the major event emcee at the famed 90,000 seater Wembley Stadium in London for over a decade, hosting over 100 globally televised soccer matches including two UEFA Champions League finals. He has served in a similar position at Twickenham Stadium, the home of English Rugby Union, and has also become a fixture at major boxing events across the UK. Like his new colleagues, Friedlander is a passionate MMA fan and student of the sport. He currently trains under former UFC veteran Jess Liaudin.