He’s probably best known to today’s fans as a color commentator for UFC broadcasts, but Dan Hardy had a long and decorated career inside the cage as well.
One of the most successful MMA fighters to hail from Britain, Hardy earned 25 wins as a professional in a career spanning from 2004 to 2012. Known as “The Outlaw” in his fighting days, the Nottingham native once challenged longtime champion Georges St-Pierre for the UFC welterweight title, losing a five-round decision.
Today, he’s taking on another challenge: a month-long yacht race which covers more than 5,000 miles, which will stretch from London, England to Rio de Jainero, Brazil.
As he puts it, there were four levels of training: first, learning the trade, then learning the work and sleep schedule to complete it.
Among the biggest challenges Hardy described was the unpredictable nature of traveling the oceans.
“Ocean racing is just so unpredictable,” he said. “Sometimes you have to make a sail change in really, really bad weather. Your core is constantly engaged. It tests your physicality all the time, in a way that mixed martial arts can’t compare.”
“In MMA you fight for 15-25 minutes and you have to sustain your energy for that period,” he explained. “But with ocean racing, you have to sustain your energy and focus for 16-20 hours at a time, sometimes more. You have to be mentally prepared, often for weeks, sometimes months, on end.”