For someone whose livelihood might be at risk, Dan Hardy seems to be taking matters into his own hands.
The popular UFC welterweight of Nottingham, England was pulled from his scheduled UFC bout on FOX 7 against Matt Brown in San Jose, Calif. On April 20 after pre-fight testing by California State Athletic Commission showed heart irregularities.
Hardy tested for a condition known as Wolff-Parkinson-White syndrome, an abnormality colloquially known as “wolf’s heart.” The condition is essentially a failure in the transmission through the heart of electrical signals that regulate the heartbeat. A person with “wolf’s heart” may experience chest pain, dizziness, palpitations, and shortness of breath, among other symptoms.
To someone unsure of what their next step is, Hardy looks like someone who has come to terms with the reality of their situation. Speaking to Steph Daniels of Bloody Elbow recently, Hardy said, “I thought about it, and I don’t want to think for a second that I’m done fighting, because I still love to train and practice. beat. At the same time, I also feel that there are a lot of other things that I should be doing, things that I should focus on in different areas of my life. “
The test result came as a surprise to Hardy as he exhibited few, if any, of the symptoms typically associated with the syndrome.
“California requires additional testing, one of the tests being an ECG,” Hardy told Bloody Elbow. “I had an EKG another time before this one. I had taken a bout on short notice while training at ATT with Paul Daley in 2004, and one of the guys at ATT came along. pulled out of his fight, and I stepped in to replace That was when I fought Pat Healy. They did an ECG then because I had an irregular heartbeat, but they allowed me to fight anyway. It was the only time anything was really noticed. Since then I have never had an ECG. I have never had any symptoms either. I am in great shape. I am in better shape than I was. never been in my life, which is ironic.
“Looking back, I have never had a single incident in my past that would make me think there was something wrong,” he continued. “Not a single thing. I do a lot of meditation and a lot of breathing exercises, and I’m still very conscious of my heartbeat. I feel like I have a lot of control over it. I can concentrate very well. and slow it down. I never felt better and I never had a problem.
Hardy admitted, given the less-than-brilliant international reputation of the US healthcare system, that he was considering getting a second opinion at home in England.
“Yeah, I thought about a second opinion,” Hardy said. “I may go back to the UK and see maybe a doctor or two there. I’m still a little wary of the US healthcare system because it is a business rather than a ‘a service. It’s always on my mind when I get this information. That’s what it is, and yes, I could go back to the UK to see what they have to say, but to be honest , I’m in a really good place right now, and I’m excited about it afterwards. “
In the meantime, Hardy’s fighting career is in limbo. Will other commission states and provinces allow a fighter with his condition? Would the UFC allow Hardy to participate in international events without sporting commissions, in which the company performs commission functions? Hardy has told Bloody Elbow that to some extent things are getting away from him.
“In the back of my mind, I thought if I was going to fight and something happened, then it would be about sports. It’s good that we have that test in place, because we don’t. don’t want something like that to happen in sports. Not only would it be a terrible thing, but it would do a lot of damage in the public eye. I think maybe more states should demand these tests as well. ” ..
“What comes back, though, is what the UFC is going to have to say about it. I certainly don’t know where the UFC is at using myself to fight in other states, because obviously now, it will be on my medical records. I have a heart of a wolf, and now everyone knows that. … So you must be wondering if the UFC can use me in shows in Europe or Australia, or things like that. These are options to consider too. I just know that at this point I am not going to have the operation, because I don’t think I really need it. If at some point I start to feel it might be necessary, I’ll start for now, I’m fine, and I don’t want anyone to laugh at me. “
If he can keep fighting, however, Hardy says he took the diagnosis as a cosmic sign when looking at the big picture.
“It took me to get to this point, where I live with health as a main priority,” he said. “I’m in the best shape of my life, and everything is starting to fall into place. I don’t know… maybe my journey through martial arts had to take me to this point, where I can tackle everything. that comes next. I certainly feel like it’s a spur of the universe to reassess and look at where I’m at, because I know there are a lot of things I want to do in my life too. life, so that might be a good sign to refocus and do something different, maybe. “