Former UFC competitor and commentator Dan Hardy didn’t mince words on the MMA Hour with Ariel Helwani yesterday when it came to his thoughts on the UFC. After Francis Ngannou’s perceived win over Tyson Fury, Hardy believes the UFC brass and Dana White are going to attempt to prevent that from happening again.
Hardy points to the past as to the hypocrisy of White and company. With the success Mayweather and McGregor had, one would think the promotion would go to that honey hole again. Instead, Hardy seems to think it was favoritism for the UFC’s golden child.
“We got the [Floyd Mayweather-Conor McGregor] thing and that was a one-off.” Hardy continued, “I do feel like the UFC in particular, like Dana’s a boxing fan. I think he was intrigued by that because he felt Conor was something quite special and he might be able to just do something as well as obviously they made a bunch of cash out of it.”
He also says that new stars don’t get that same treatment after McGregor was beat by Mayweather. Again, Hardy looks at the past to bring an analogy to the present.
“If you look at somebody like a Sean O’Malley or a Jon Jones, he doesn’t want to take that risk. You remember when he took Chuck Liddell over to PRIDE and ‘Rampage’ beat him up, that kind of burned him, I feel. He’s been very, very reluctant to risk breaking his toys in other people’s promotions. I think he’s going to do everything he can to stop people from doing it.”
Dan Hardy on Francis Ngannou’s success
With Ngannou nearly beating Tyson Fury, the Cameroonian has found new heights of fame. Dan Hardy believes that the $2 million guarantee that Ngannou has baked into his contract for his contract will lure some big names over to the promotion soon for a potential MMA bout.
“$2 million on the table for Francis Ngannou’s first opponent in the PFL,” Hardy said. “There are enough heavyweight fighters that are prize fighters, because they’re big guys that punch hard that will go where the money is.”
Despite Hardy’s pessimism on the UFC’s business practices, he believes that fans will see more and more of these crossovers from MMA to boxing.
“I think we’re going to see a couple of people come out of their contracts soon and crossover ready for that big payday.”