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Dan Hardy - Evolution Of A Fighter


“A warrior must be an artist, a musician and a poet, because if you are not then you will be entirely focused on one thing, and that’s not sustainable.”
Dan Hardy

Dan Hardy, known as “The Outlaw” in the mixed martial arts (MMA) world, stands as a charismatic and resilient figure whose journey in the sport has left an indelible mark. From his early days as a fighter in the UFC to his transition into a prominent commentator and analyst, Hardy’s story is one of tenacity, passion, and an unyielding commitment to the world of MMA.

If our last conversation with Dan Hardy was remarkable because of Dan’s honesty and vulnerability, this episode will be just as memorable for how much he has grown in recent years. Last time we talked Dan was still waiting to hear if he was to become the UFC commentator in the UK. Now he is effectively the face of the organisation this side of the Atlantic.

That same raw, uninhibited honesty that made the last meeting we had so legendary, is still to be found in Dan. Only this time, his powers of analysis and self-awareness have grown incredibly.

The benefits of no longer having the pressures of competing, plus the chance to observe the sport he loves from a close distance, have given Dan new perspectives on the UFC and his own career as a fighter.

We talk about his journey as an MMA fighter, and the conversation quickly turns to George St. Pierre, the legend of the sport who beat Dan decisively after a gruelling 25 minute battle. Needless to say Dan came away from that fight with his dignity intact, but he admits he was always on the defensive.

There is the cliche of the former fighter, alone in a bar complaining about how he never got the shot he deserved. Dan is about as far away from this cliche as it is possible to get. As far as GSP goes, Dan has nothing but respect for the man, and he has an almost zen attitude looking back at his fight with the champion.

It couldn’t have happened any other way, according to Dan. He now seems to regard GSP as a teacher, and the fight itself as a pivotal moment in his own evolution, personally and professionally. A good example of Dan’s development as a fight analyst is the distinction he keeps making between a fighter and a martial artist.

Dan Hardy had the privilege of being part of GSP’s training camp, and has developed a relationship with the man, especially since the champion called it a day. Dan says that GSP has become a far better martial artist since giving up competitive fighting, and he says the same for himself.

The truth of the matter is, Dan Hardy is now a kind of scholar of mixed martial arts. It is no longer about winning or losing. Dan is far more interested in the psychology of fighting, and the technical achievements of a fighter whether they win or lose. Dan has come to love all forms of controlled movement, and is less interested in results.

We also talk about Conor McGregor, and Dan has a little more of an objective view of the champion than everyone else. Viewed purely on a technical basis, Dan is sceptical about McGregor’s decision to compete at a higher division, thoughDan recognises the contribution the Irishman has made to the sport.

Fighting isn’t the only focus of this conversation.

Dan Hardy talks about his experiences sailing from London to Rio, a story which is much closer to the kinds of adventures James Ketchell would get up to, rather than a UFC fighter! We also talk deeply about psychedelics, and the effect his open use of Ayahuasca has had on his career.

This is the Dan Hardy we know and love, but his inner world has gone through so much transformation. As the UFC itself evolves into an ever more sophisticated art form, Dan seems to have changed with the sport. Dan talks about living in the moment, the importance of doing things for their own sake rather than just to win.

He has truly become an all-round warrior, and it was a pleasure to spend two hours with a great fighting mind, and a kind, thoughtful and totally congruent individual. “The Outlaw” is back!


0:09:30 | Introduction
0:10:30 | Stepping up the London Real game from split screen camera.
0:11:20 | Transition to be a commentator.
0:12:00 | Pros and Cons of working in UFC and not being a fighter.
0:13:30 | 7,000 to 50,000 fans in the arena.
0:14:40 | John Goodman commentating.
0:16:00 | Making a great team. John’s a cage fighting.
0:17:20 | Joe Rogan.
0:18:15 | In Europe we like the guy who’s turned his career around.
0:18:35 | In the US, they are more about this is the winner.
0:19:10 | People like your vibe.
0:20:20 | Learning from commentators. Brian Stann and Jon Anik.
0:21:20 | Boxing commentator.
0:22:33 | Joe Rogan.
0:22:40 | Having a piece in the ear.
0:23:40 | Be open to reviewing the performance.
0:25:00 | Getting the fighter to do the right thing.
0:26:00 | GSP George St-Pierre.
0:27:00 | How do you think of him?
0:29:10 | Biggest underdog in UFC fight.
0:30:20 | Being a part of the World Champion Training Camp.
0:32:00 | GSP doing gymnastics.
0:33:10 | Talking about the fight at all time.
0:34:20 | Do you think GSP will come back.
0:37:00 | Are you a martial artist?
0:39:00 | Training to be a super analyst.
0:40:30 | There is so many thing about Conor I don’t notice.
0:41:00 | Robin Black. Analysis phase of UFC.
0:43:00 | They are far more extroverted in the US.
0:44:20 | Difference with the British market.
0:46:00 | Putting a 5-6 weeks training camp together.
0:48:00 | Feeling of forced into retirement.
0:48:30 | I’m far more educated as a mixed martial artist.
0:49:00 | Would you fight at 155?
0:49:15 | If George St-Pierre doesn’t have to come back, why does Dan Hardy have to come back.
0:49:20 | He doesn’t, but he want’s to.
0:49:30 | Giving my best.
0:50:00 | Anything could happen in a fight.
0:51:10 | I made a mistake.
0:53:50 | Mirrored left hooks.
0:54:10 | What do you make of the Conor McGregor phenomenon.
0:55:00 | Rhonda did the first big push, Mcgregor is the next one.
0:56:00 | Love it or hate it.
0:57:00 | The direction of where mixed martial art is going.
0:58:20 | Everything is relaxed. What a great mental state to be in.
0:59:00 | Openness to a new kind of movement.
1:00:15 | What do you make of the fight and the post fight comments.
1:02:00 | The fight was disappointing because we didn’t get to see what Jose Aldo was capable of.
1:02:30 | If Conor lost, it will be fascinating to see how he dealt with the lost.
1:03:30 | Conor McGregor vs Frankie Edgar
1:05:30 | We need to create more fights.
1:06:38 | Conor ran the press conference after the fight.
1:07:30 | Negotiate hard.
1:08:30 | Training with Ido Portal.
1:10:05 | There were more rugby training in mixed martial arts that is more counter productive.
1:12:00 | Elements of movement and intelligent movement patterns.
1:13:30 | Focusing on the movement rather than the outcome.
1:15:00 | Moving the weight belt and not becoming the champion.
1:16:30 | Sailing.
1:17:10 | Being part of a race boat.
1:19:00 | Clipper Round the world yacht race.
1:22:30 | Not getting enough rest.
1:24:50 | Talking people up. 24 in the boat.
1:26:26 | You forget you are in the race.
1:30:20 | Broken arm and we have 10 days before reaching Rio.
1:32:10 | Use of psychedelics.
1:34:10 | I’m going back to Peru. I’ve had a few breakthroughs.
1:35:25 | Where are you now compared to where you are then?
1:36:00 | Feeling London.
1:37:22 | My shaman says that London needs me. <- 1:40:00 | My relationship with myself. Ayahuasca doesn’t change a person, it just allows themselves to understand themselves better. 1:40:45 | I felt I have another breakthrough. 1:42:40 | Being in the moment in the boat. 1:43:40 | Did you get any blowback from being so open with psychedelics. 1:46:00 | Going back to banking. 1:47:00 | Not shying away from the truth. 1:48:00 | Connects us with the earth and with each other. 1:48:40 | Mushroom. 1:49:45 | Its ok to be scared. 1:50:20 | Going for a ceremony. 1:51:00 | The myth of free will. Joe Silva. 1:52:20 | Decisions made by subconscious. 1:54:45 | Do you think this is always going to be a fringe element to it? 1:56:15 | Decent people taking to the great place. 1:57:10 | We are the fine elements. 1:58:00 | Reliance of environment. 1:59:20 | Being true to yourself. 2:00:20 | we are still in a dog eat dog world. 2:01:30 | Most people in mixed martial arts are quite righteous in the world. 2:03:30 | Do not piss on my street. 2:04:05 | Preserving order. 2:05:00 | Not out of ego. 2:05:05 | Appearing at the 7 out of 10. 2:07:00 | This is the human conflict we all have. 2:07:35 | THe monkey brain just like it. 2:08:10 | Success secrets. 2:09:10 | Call to the 20 year old Dan Hardy 2:11:20 | Best advice ever received. 2:14:00 | Advice to the 20 year old.


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