Dan Hardy has opened up about some of the situations that disappointed him while working for the UFC as a commentator.
The former welterweight title challenger and ex-UFC analyst had conflicted feelings during his final days as an employee for the Las Vegas-based MMA promotion. Hardy was released from his duties as commentator in early 2021 following a reported disagreement with a female employee during the promotion’s run of events in Abu Dhabi that same year.
In a recent interview with Freedom Pact, Hardy said he “certainly could’ve acted differently” in dealing with the circumstance, but it doesn’t change the uneasy feelings he had toward some situations with the promotion.
In one of the examples the Hardy listed, he claimed the UFC and president Dana White staged a video in which White was shown on camera acting concerned for Calvin Kattar’s health after his loss against Max Holloway at UFC on ABC 1 in January 2021.
“This is another good example of the nonsense, the posturing, the propaganda – that last fight that I called was Max Holloway vs. Calvin Kattar,” Hardy said. “… (It was) the first time combat sports had been on ABC in 20-something years.
“And then going into the fifth round, and you have one guy that’s being beaten senseless by another fighter, right? Now, there is no reason why that fight shouldn’t have been stopped at the end of the fourth round. No discredit to Calvin Kattar, but he didn’t earn anything by taking that fifth round beating. But what we did see was that clip coming out of Dana talking to Hunter (Campbell) and being like, ‘Hey, we need to make sure he goes straight to a doctor after that.’
“And it looks like, ‘Hey, they just caught this on camera across the arena.’ The dude was mic’d up. The receiver of the microphone was attached to the camera that was filming him from across the other side of the arena. That whole thing was staged to protect the UFC. And I watched that, and I’m like, ‘That’s just dirty.’ Actually do something to protect the fighter. Don’t do something to protect the sport or the company if the fighter gets damaged.”
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A few months prior to the Holloway vs. Kattar fight, Hardy was in a confrontation with referee Herb Dean for not stopping the Francisco Trinaldo vs. Jai Herbert lightweight fight sooner – which White was critical of and said Hardy was out of place to confront the referee.
Hardy said he thought the situation in the Holloway vs. Kattar fight didn’t prioritize fighter health and safety, but rather the UFC’s public image.
“That hurt me to watch that because I can see the game being played,” Hardy said. “It’s pretending they had some kind of concern by Calvin Kattar, and I just didn’t buy it. And I’m standing there keeping my mouth shut because I had already said too much a few weeks before, and I’m already right on the edge of the chopping block thinking, ‘This might be exactly what I was talking about before a couple of weeks ago.’
“Like, why someone didn’t get involved and stopped that fight when it needed to be stopped? Calvin Kattar is not the same fighter he was after that fight. It’s horrible to say, but I’ve seen it before. I’ve seen fighters take one or two or three more shots than they absolutely needed to, and they’ve never been the same again.”
Story originally appeared on MMA Junkie