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Strategic Call-Out Alert: Dan Hardy Wants to “Retire” Diego Sanchez

(With takedown defense like that, Hardy doesn’t even stand a chance. Photo via Hardy’s Twitter.)

Ever since being forced into a semi-retirement due to a heart condition known as Wolff-Parkinson-White syndrome, former welterweight title challenger Dan Hardy has been building up a ton of good will with fans while serving as the color commentator for several of the UFC’s overseas shows. His intelligent, insightful, and undeniably British mic skills have left many fans calling for Hardy to replace Jon Anik outright, which is sad because Anik is probably the nicest cliche-spitting android this side of Shotbot.

But before Hardy was ever a smooth as silk commentator, he was a fiercely polarizing fighter known for his ability to trash talk his way into a fight. His last strategic call-out backfired in a big way, as he was battered, then choked out by Chris Lytle at UFC on Versus 5. But now that Hardy has received some positive news in regards to his condition, he is once again back to his old ways, calling out Diego Sanchez for his potential comeback fight. His reasoning: Getting some good old fashioned payback for fellow countrymen Ross Pearson’s controversial loss to Sanchez at Fight Night 42 (via MMAJunkie):

That was one of the worst decisions I’ve ever seen.

Ross Pearson won that fight clearly, and Diego accepted the win like he does…he’s as crazy as he is. I’m a huge Diego fan, but for me, he is what’s wrong with mixed martial arts right now. He is the 20th century bullheaded martial artist that walks forward and fights with their face, and now we’ve got guys like … Conor McGregor, we’ve got Gunnar Nelson; they’ve all got this very Machida-esque style where they’re very mobile; they can switch stances, and they can hit with power from anywhere.

I think Diego represents the old school, where you just walk forward in a boxing stance and see who falls over first.

It’s a pretty apt breakdown of the fighter Sanchez has evolved (devolved?) into, as the TUF 1 winner’s last few fights have seen him abandon anything resembling an intelligent gameplan in favor of a strategy more fit for Julian Lane. Still, Sanchez has gone an even 2-2 in his last 4, and while a win over him wouldn’t exactly put Hardy in line for a title shot, it would be a nice name to add to his list of victims.

“I’d like to get in there and maybe push him toward retirement,” said Hardy “Get my comeback fight, give him his last fight, and see where we’re at.”

Hardy has additionally stated that he “has reason to believe” the UFC might be interested in booking him against Sanchez, but considering what happened when the promotion recently tried to book Stefan Struve another fight after a similar layoff due to heart issues, I’d say it’s a long shot.

So Nation, any of you interested in the prospect of Hardy vs. Sanchez?

-J. Jones

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