Englishman concedes his options are running out after heart diagnosis.
UFC welterweight Dan Hardy said he does not want to pull the pin in his career but admits that decision may not be up to him after being diagnosed with a rare heart abnormality.
Hardy was ready to fight as part of UFC on Fox 7, headlined by Benson Henderson versus Gilbert Melendez on April 20, before he failed a pre-fight EKG test which picked up his condition.
The 30-year-old has Wolff-Parkinson-White Syndrome, more commonly known as Wolff Heart, which is the abnormal electrical conduction between the artia and the ventricles in the heart.
Between 0.1 and 0.3 per cent of the population have it and in those affected, sudden cardiac arrest only occurs in 0.6 per of all cases, which is little consolation to Hardy.
The condition was only picked up due to America having extras test before it passes fighters to take part in a bout.
However, it raises serious doubts whether ‘The Outlaw’ will again be able to fight in a UFC sanctioned event within the United States.
Hardy (25-10-1) said the news came as a shock given he was feeling in top condition before his scheduled bout against Matt Brown.
“California requires extra testing, one of the tests being an EKG. I have had an EKG one other time before this one. I had taken a short notice fight while I was training at ATT with Paul Daley in 2004,” Hardy said.
“That was the only time anything’s really ever been noticed. Since then, I’ve never had an EKG. I’ve never had any symptoms, either. I’m in great shape. I’m in better shape than I’ve ever been in my life, which is ironic.”
Hardy could still be a part of the UFC roster given the promotion is taking events across the world, with Brazil, Australia and Europe becoming more regularly visited.
It is there, with different pre-fight health tests, where Hardy could be cleared to fight and continue with his career.
But the sudden news has caused the Brit to evaluate his career goals inside the octagon and after 36 fights, he is open to opportunities outside of the gym.
“Maybe my journey through martial arts was to get me to this stage, where I can approach whatever comes next. I’m certainly feeling like it’s a prod from the universe to kind of reassess and look at where I’m at, because I know there are a lot of things I want to do in my life as well, so this might be a good sign to refocus and do something different,” he said.
“The problem with fighting, particularly with the pace and level that I have been, you don’t have time for anything else. It dominates your whole life.
“It’s very difficult to step away for a week and just focus on something else. Always in the back of your mind, you’ve got thoughts of the next fight. It’s a constant preoccupation, and I really want to start to look at other things in my life, as well.”