Last seen defeating Amir Sadollah at UFC on Fuel TV 5 in September 2012, former UFC welterweight title challenger Dan Hardy has been battling a rare heart condition labeled “Wolf Heart” that could potentially prevent him from ever returning to the Octagon.

However, “The Outlaw” is never one to give in easily. Despite his new role as commentator on the UFC’s Fight Pass series of international events, Hardy recently told that he is planning on coming back to fight:

“I definitely plan on getting back in there. It’s just the process of getting cleared and being able to now. It’s kind of frustrating, but to be honest, this commentating job came at the right time it’s given me a new challenge to focus on.

And I’m able to stay very close to the sport, and still learn from the sport, from the fighters, and just be a fan. I can still evolve as a martial artist in this role. That’s the best part about it. As the sports evolving, I can be there to witness it firsthand, and take that into the gym and keep evolving myself.

Then when the time comes for me to return, I won’t be out of touch."

Hardy’s clearance to return is far from guaranteed, but if he ever does receive a doctor’s blessing to resume fighting, at least he’ll have spent a lot of time staying up on the current training trends and techniques in MMA. That doesn’t mean he’d be relevant if he did come back, though.

With the welterweight division packed full of dangerous top-flight contenders all waiting for a chance at new champion Johny Hendricks’ belt, Hardy is sure to get lost in the mix. He’d be a gatekeeper that could undoubtedly provide some exciting bouts for the fans. That is, unless he was able to string together a decent amount of quality wins.

That isn't beyond “The Outlaw’s” skills, but he has also demonstrated an extreme degree of inconsistency as well. After winning his first four UFC bouts to earn a shot at divisional champ Georges St. Pierre, Hardy dropped his next four in a row.

He rebounded nicely with two victories over Duane Ludwig and Sadollah, but it’s hard to say the ever-evolving UFC landscape hasn’t passed him by at this point. Is it worth it for Hardy to attempt a comeback, or has he found a solid occupation as the UFC’s new color commentator?

Photo: Ron Chenoy for USA TODAY Sports