Dan Hardy appeared on The Ariel Helwani Channel on March 23 to discuss a range of topics, including his recent move to PFL and his experience of cornering his wife at UFC 286. However, a significant portion of the conversation centered around the recent controversy involving Colby Covington and UFC color commentator Jon Anik. Hardy provided his insights and opinions on the matter.
Dan Hardy: ‘It’s a Very Case by Case Basis in the UFC’
Hardy’s relationship with the UFC has been quite tumultuous, to say the least. He found himself in hot water after getting into a very public spat with a referee during UFC on ESPN 14 in July 2020. Later on, he was let go from the organization due to a disagreement with an internal staff member, although the details of this dispute remain unconfirmed.
“I think it’s a case-by-case basis in the UFC, I probably wasn’t making them as much money as Colby Covington is. And you know, [Dana White] set the standard on new years eve, didn’t he?” Hardy alludes to White being filmed having a physical altercation with his wife on New-Years Eve. “You can’t berate a member of your roster after behaving like that on camera. [White] has put himself in a very difficult position and the UFC has put [White] in a difficult position.”
Hardy makes a point that when he was involved in controversy, the organization had a clean slate and could discipline him as they saw fit. But with White’s recent controversy, the UFC has put itself in a difficult position. It’s now harder for them to address the issues surrounding fighters like Covington, as it puts both the organization and White himself in a position of hypocrisy.
“I just feel like, my concern is that the UFC is such a big player in the sport of mixed martial arts that it would damage the actual sport instead of just damaging the UFC. If it was just doing damage to itself, I would be upset, but I would be a little bit more forgiving. I just feel like we’ve got a couple of people at the top right now that are running an organization and that have too much influence on the whole of the sport, and they’re not doing a very good job.”
Dan Hardy: ‘Colby Is Going To Be Colby’
Hardy continued, “[Covington] is going to be [Covington], and if he gets away with it, like when he threw that boomerang at [Fabricio Werdum] you know what I mean?” Hardy incorrectly refers to an incident where Werdum threw the boomerang at Covington. “It’s like it’s just how he acts it’s not a good standard to uphold. I think the reason he’ll get away with it, of course, is because Anik is another public figure. You know like we had the bit of a back and forth between [Justin Gaethje] and [Michael Bisping], and I think as long as both people in the organization are public-facing figures, I don’t think it’s that much of a problem in [White’s] eyes.”
Hardy raises concerns about the potential impact of Covington’s behavior on the UFC’s standards, suggesting that if Covington is allowed to get away with his actions it could set a negative precedent for others in the organization. He also speculates that Covington’s recent comments about Anik may not result in disciplinary action, as both men are public figures within the UFC. Hardy goes on to draw a comparison with his own experiences with the UFC and being banned from fight week activities at UFC 286.
“I had a very, very minor disagreement with a member of staff, and I was banned from all [UFC 286] fight week activity that week, so it’s [a] case-by-case basis. I went to the official weigh-ins that was the only thing I went to, everything else I was banned from. You know, it’s silliness, it’s massive massive double standards, you know? But I wouldn’t expect anything less from that organization these days.”
Hardy makes some valid points about the UFC’s handling of controversies surrounding its fighters. He raised concerns about the potential negative impact of Covington’s behavior on the organization’s standards. However, Hardy’s bias towards the UFC due to his own personal experiences with the organization cannot be ignored.