It appears Dan Hardy’s comeback booking nearly is complete.
Hardy (25-10), who was recently granted his release from the UFC, has been teasing a return to competition for a while. The 39-year-old has expressed interest in MMA and boxing bouts, but has diverted his attention to muay Thai and one of its most accomplished stars.
After Hardy commented on a ONE Championship post by saying a caged muay Thai fight would be “fun,” kickboxing and muay Thai legend and multiple-time world champion John Wayne Parr issued a respectful callout.
And Hardy is all in.
“A comment was made the other day by John Wayne Parr saying he’d be keen to fight me if I was to step into the ONE circle,” Hardy told MMA Junkie. “That is the fight that makes sense. I’ve got a lot of respect for John Wayne Parr. He’s a dangerous muay Thai fighter who, I’m stepping into his rule set, but with my gloves. So I think we’ll have a lot of fun, and it’s an ideal first fight back for me because I can focus on the striking arts, then maybe move on to a different rule set after – maybe MMA or kickboxing.”
Hardy, who’s emerged as one of the most respected commentators and analysts in the sport, claims both he and Parr already accepted to fight each other and it’s up to ONE Championship to make it happen.
“It’s agreed between John and I, but we need to come to an agreement with ONE Championship,” Hardy said. “There are a couple of options on the table elsewhere, but that’s the one I’m most interested in right now.”
Hardy hasn’t competed since September 2012, when he defeated Season 7 “Ultimate Fighter” winner Amir Sadollah in his hometown of Nottingham, England. “The Outlaw” explained that while he had other offers, the idea of joining ONE Championship lured him in the most for various reasons.
“I felt like I was too heavy in the UFC,” Hardy said. “Everybody is monsters over there. So when I moved over to the UFC and thought, ‘Right –I better gain some weight. (I’m) the same size as the Anthony Johnsons of the division, but the reality is, my best weight is around 175.’
“So to be able to go to ONE and fight John Wayne Parr under a rule set which is fun for both of us, a weight class which I feel is going to get my best performance – it just makes sense. And with ONE having three different rule sets – muay Thai with small gloves, kickboxing with big gloves and MMA – if I sign a multiple-fight contract with them, it gives me a lot of options of different things I could do.”
This was originally published on www.mmajunkie.com