The tranquillity of Dan Hardys post-MMA and UFC life is a world away from the barbarism of the world he used to inhabit. So, requests Donald McRae, why is he scheming a comeback?
My life to date has revolved around crusading, around my pursuing of impressing a boys jaw with the optimum rapidity, strength and timing to revolve his head, disrupt the grid of nerves and blood vessels connecting his mentality to his skull and yield him temporarily instinctive, Dan Hardy clarifies in his gripping journal about being an MMA and UFC soldier.
If you ask Hardy, who is now a commentator for the UFC and proposing an unlikely comeback in the Octagon, where he was five years ago, he will recollect being in a training camp before he made Duane Ludwig to sleep with a sharp-worded left hook in Vegas. Choose another time and I could be the fighter rising cautiously from the canvas or combating to keep the blood flowing from my pate back to my centre as my jugular vein and carotid route are shut by an forearm attempting to choke “peoples lives” out of me.
To an intruder UFC opposing can seem an hideou business which ends when a scarcely self-conscious soldier or maiden is pinned to the floor of a cage and pummelled into oblivion. Boxing devotees witter on instead about the gravitas of our preferred sport. We are helped that the sporting and political landmarks of boxing have been carved out by boxers as resonant as Jack Johnson and Joe Louis, Emile Griffith and Muhammad Ali. Hardy likewise stresses that an excellent boxing scribe in Paul Gibson facilitated him capture the nuances of his fighting life.
Yet if it was once easy to reject Mixed Martial Arts and its foolhardy standard-bearer in the Ultimate Fighting Championship, even blinkered boxing advocates have surrendered there are obligating and complex stories within this competitive boast. Conor McGregor, UFCs most outrageously successful boxer, is the obvious lesson; but Hardy is the more interesting man.
After a few hours with him it is difficult to believe he still catalogues his life in brutal markers. Hardy smiles on a sleepy morning in Leicestershire, looking around his home which is a beautiful altered old-fashioned church. It clothings his serene exterior as well as the work of his wife Lacey, an aerialist from Las Vegas, who contrives her acrobatics beneath the surging ceilings.
Fighting is a very small part of the person I am now, he relinquishes. I enjoyed that persona as a fighter with the blood-red mohawk. But “its just” one part of me. So its amazing how many people say: Oh, youre not what I expected. I suspect they remember that crazy person hollering at the camera and smiling when people were piercing him. But I dont seem defined by engaging now.
Hardy is immersed in conventional martial arts and, times before he cuddled the UFC, he applied his concede as a fine art student in Nottingham to travel to China so he had been able to train with Shaolin friars. He has since tried to open his sentiment by use psychedelics, particularly in ayahuasca ceremonies in Peru, where an Amazonian flower encourages modified positions of consciousness. It could be teased as another way of getting high but Hardy resounds pondering and insightful.
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