Former UFC fighters Dan Hardy and Diego Sanchez were supposed to face one another in an exhibition boxing bout this Saturday at AO Arena in Manchester, England.
Unfortunately, a lineup change has forced the bout to be removed from the card all together.
According to Hardy, because British network Sky Sports is now airing the event — which is headlined by an exhibition bout between Ricky Hatton and Marco Antonio Barrera — it made changes to the lineup that included scrapping all of the undercard bouts in favor of fighters currently under contract with an associated stable. Hardy provided the information to told Submission Radio, transcribed by Alexander K. Lee of MMA Fighting below.
“Yeah, so basically the card was picked up by Sky Sports and they decided that they wanted the Hatton/Barrera fights off the card and to add all the rest of their own fights to it,” Hardy said (transcription via Denis Shkuratov). “‘Cause obviously they got a deal with Boxer and they’ve got loads of fighters signed to their management team. So yeah, they basically just took the Hatton/Barrera fight and they cancelled the rest of the fights.
“I’ve had a bit of a chat with Diego about it. Of course, he was disappointed as well, but you know, it’s the fight game. It’s chaotic at the moment, and with new promoters getting into the businesses, I think sometimes they buy themselves a bit more than they can chew, and I think that’s what happened. I hope it goes really well. But aside from following Ricky Hatton’s Instagram, I’m not really hearing anything about it.”
Hardy and Sanchez, both 40, were originally scheduled to fight July 2 before the bout was pushed back to November 12. This was to be Hardy’s first fight in 10 years (September 29, 2012), when he defeated Amir Sadollah at a UFC event in Nottingham, England. Soon after, Hardy was diagnosed with Wolff–Parkinson–White syndrome, a condition that he has battled ever since while working towards a return to competition.
Sanchez fought for Eagle FC earlier this year after the Ultimate Fighter Season 1 winner parted ways with the UFC after 18 years with the promotion.
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