Dan Hardy’s first fight in nearly a decade will take place inside the squared circle.
Promotional officials confirmed to MMA Fighting on Wednesday that Hardy will face fellow former UFC fighter and one-time title challenger Diego Sanchez in a boxing match. The event is scheduled to take place July 2 at the AO Arena in Manchester, England and will be headlined by a fight between Ricky Hatton and Marco Antonio Barrera.
The bout will considered an exhibition with eight, two-minute rounds. In addition, the promotion tells MMA Fighting that both fighters will appear at a news conference that will take place on Sunday.
Hardy has been hoping to get back to competition for quite some time in the combat sports world, even suggesting that a boxing match was being discussed between himself and Tyron Woodley. In the end, he will face Sanchez in his first bout since defeating Amir Sadollah via unanimous decision at UFC on FUEL TV 5 in September 2012. “The Outlaw” snapped a four-fight skid four months prior when he stopped Duane Ludwig in the first round at UFC 146.
Sanchez returned to competition for the first time since September 2020 in his first non-UFC fight since 2004 when he lost a unanimous decision to Kevin Lee in the main event of Eagle FC 46 in March. “Nightmare” is 3-3 in his six most recent bouts, which includes a second-round TKO win over Mickey Gall at UFC 235 in March 2019.