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‘Double standards’ - Hardy ‘banned’ from UFC 286 despite cornering wife

SB Nation logo SB Nation 3/27/2023 Milan Ordoñez
© Photo by Oleg Nikishin/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC

Colby Covington’s usual quotable sound bites last week were directed at UFC play-by-play man Jon Anik. What seemingly upset “Chaos” was Anik’s show of support towards welterweight contender Belal Muhammad.

Covington then responded with this threat.

“So, you wanted to lick my frickin’ balls in London, ‘Oh Colby! This, this, this! But then you want to go back behind the stage and cheerlead for a racist! So he associates with racism and Belal Muhammad.

“And, you know, Jon Anik, dude, I don’t want your kids to grow up without a dad. Just realize you live in Boca, I live in Miami motherf–r. You’re not too far from me. So you better shut your f–ng mouth. You poke the bear? Now you get the bear comes after you.”

At least based on recent history, altercations with a company employee aren’t taken lightly. In 2021, former welterweight title contender Dan Hardy was fired from his commentary duties after an alleged incident with a staff member during a Fight Island event.

In an interview with Petesy Carroll over the weekend, “The Outlaw” was asked about the incident involving Covington and how it relates to his situation. He believes the UFC’s silence and inaction on the matter will remain.

“It’s a very case-by-case basis within the UFC. I probably wasn’t making them as much money as Colby Covington is. And Dana set the standard on New Year’s Eve, didn’t he? You can’t berate a member of your roster after you behaved like that on camera,” he said.

“Dana’s put himself in a difficult position and the UFC has put Dana in a difficult position. My concern is the UFC is such a big player in the sport of mixed martial arts that it would damage the actual sport instead of just damaging the UFC.”

“I think the reason he’ll get away with it, of course, is because Anik is another public figure. Like we had a bit of a back-and-forth between Gaethje and Bisping. As long as both people in the organization are public-facing figures, I don’t think it’s that much of a problem in Dana’s eyes,” Hardy added.

Hardy’s relationship with his former employers was never mended, he says. He even revealed being banned from UFC 286, where his wife Veronica (née Macedo) fought in the early prelims.

“I had a very, very minor disagreement with a member of the staff, and I was banned from all fight week activities last week. It’s a case-by-case basis.

“I went to the official weigh-ins, that was the only thing I went to. But everything else, I was banned from. It’s silliness. It’s massive, massive double standards. But I wouldn’t expect anything less from that organization these days.”

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After his departure from the UFC, Hardy continued to grow his YouTube presence. And recently, he was named Head of Fighter operations for PFL Europe, where he will also be part of the broadcast team.

About the author: Milan Ordoñez has been covering combat sports since 2012 and has been part of the Bloody Elbow staff since 2016. He’s also competed in amateur mixed martial arts and submission grappling tournaments. (full bio)


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