Following Dan ‘The Outlaw’ Hardy’s fourth loss in the Octagon at Sunday night’s UFC on Versus headliner against now retired Chris ‘Lights Out’ Lytle, both UFC President Dana White and owner Lorenzo Fertitta have said that Hardy will in fact not be cut. ‘The Outlaw ‘ however does not feel he is ready to jump right back in as he is aware that he is not on par with current top talent in the division.
“It’s a nice vote of confidence from the big boss,” Hardy told MMAjunkie.com of Lorenzo Fertitta’s post-fight tweet that Hardy will get at least one more fight in the octagon. “Obviously, a lot of people are three losses and out. I’m obviously four down now, and I appreciate he’s going to give me another opportunity. I love the UFC and the fans and just being a part of the organization and being amongst great fighters.
“I think if they are going to give me one more fight, then I really need to take some time and come back re-invented, if you like. … There are a lot of things I can do. But right now, I need space from competing, and I need space in the gym getting beaten up by much better guys in every area. I’ll either improve or find another way. If I’ve got one more fight, then I’ll take one more fight. But maybe it won’t be for a little while.”
“When I got into this sport, my intention was just to do what I could do and get as far as I could. I’m proud to say I fought for the belt. It may have been a little early in my career to have done it, but it was an opportunity I took, and I gave it everything I’ve got. But after that, I don’t know. I just felt a little bit of a distance from myself and the sport for various reasons. I don’t know.
“I think I had the quickest rise and the quickest fall the UFC’s ever seen – four fights up, four fights down. But there were improvements to make. I know that. I just don’t think between fights I’ve really had the time to invest in working on those particular things. I know I’ve got it in me to learn them.”
“I had a great training camp. But what you do in the gym and what goes on in your head are two completely different things.
“I only had four weeks out in Vegas with Roy, and I made a lot of progress in that time – not that I proved it in the fight. But I feel like I did make a lot of progress. I feel like that’s a good place for me to be and to continue to work on my game. That will be something I continue to do. Plus, I have a lot of good friends there now, and they need my help training for their fights, so I’ll still be there for them.”
“It was a tough fight. It was exactly what I expected, apart from the squeeze on the neck at the end. … I just went straight into his guillotine. I knew it was a strong technique of his, and he caught me with it.
“Chris is always somebody I looked up to, and I knew coming into this fight it was going to be a great fight, and he was going to really push me, and it was going to be a fun one. I enjoyed the first 14 minutes of it. That lack of oxygen got to me. It’s just one of those things. I’ve got no shame in being beaten by Chris, and I wish him all the best.”
“I think my head’s elsewhere to be honest. I’m going to step back a little bit and take some time – just enjoy being in the gym for a little while and see where the future takes me. … I’ll see where my life takes me after a couple of days off.
“I think I just need to really dedicate the time to it and either come back in a blaze of glory and make a run for the belt or do something else. I’m not sure yet.”