Dan Hardy says he has asked two people from the UFC for his release.

The former welterweight title challenger hasn’t competed in MMA since 2012 but is looking to make a comeback in 2021.

During his time away from fighting Hardy has built a reputation as one of the best analysts in the game.

Until recently Hardy was working for the UFC but he was let go after being involved in a public spat with a member of the production team.

In an interview with Submission Radio, Hardy revealed he has now asked the UFC to release him from his fight contract as he has been unable to arrange a comeback bout with them and he even if he does it wont be the type of fight he wants.

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“I’ve asked two different people for my release from the UFC because obviously with one contract coming to an end it makes sense for me to leave with my fight contract as well,” Hardy said. “I’m currently trying to get my release from the UFC so then I can start looking at other places. I’ve got a few ideas, a few options that I’d like to consider. It’s just getting hold of someone. I might have to recruit Joshua Fabia to get someone’s attention at some point.

“I think he even got to the stage where I could get UFC to give me an opponent. It’s not going to be one of the ones that I want,” Hardy added. “They’re not matching veterans with veterans anymore. They’re matching veterans with the new guys coming up so they can build the next name. I’m not interested in fighting someone that nobody knows. You know (I want) Cowboy, Matt brown. They would never in a million years give me the Nick Diaz fight. They’ll use Nick Diaz to build somebody else up. I just don’t want to be in that situation. Plus, my fight contract is eight years old so you can imagine the numbers on it.”

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Hardy would like to fight in Japan but is keeping his option open right now.

“I’d love to fight in Japan. I’ve always been a big fan of Japan. You know, RIZIN, ONE championship, are doing amazing things,” Hardy said. “I actually think that’d be a great place for Diego (Sanchez) to go. They’ve got Shinya Aoki floating around there that’s has 47 wins on his record. I’d like to Diego go against Aoki, that’d be an interesting one.

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“As soon as that UFC door closed so many other doors opened and different options, not even just MMA,” Hardy added. “I’ve got other things I would consider as well. The world’s much bigger than I actually realized I think. So now I’ve started looking at these other organizations and different weight classes as well. I could jump into some of these at middleweight and light-heavyweight and fancy my chances. We’ll see what happens.”

Who do you want to see Dan Hardy sign with if he’s released by the UFC?

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A lifelong fight fan from Liverpool, England who has been covering mixed martial arts (MMA) and boxing for several years. Follow @JordanEllisUK on Twitter for all the latest fight news, views, interviews and live event coverage.