Dan Hardy and John Wayne Parr verbally agree to fight in ONE Championship

Dan Hardy and John Wayne Parr verbally agree to fight in ONE Championship.

Former UFC welterweight contender Dan “The Outlaw” Hardy wants to make a return to fighting, but he’s not looking at rejoining his old employer. Instead, Hardy has his sights on several potential bouts with Asia’s largest martial arts organization, ONE Championship.

Hardy recently expressed his interest in joining ONE after Chairman and CEO Chatri Sityodtong posted via the organization’s official Instagram account, asking fans who he should sign next. Hardy was among many who commented on the post.

Hardy even has a first opponent in mind, and that’s Australian striking legend John Wayne “The Gunslinger” Parr.

The two would have verbally agreed to square off in a caged Muay Thai bout featuring 4-ounce MMA gloves, which ONE has become known for over the past few years.

“John and I have already verbally agreed. We’ve already spoken privately via message, and said that this is the fight that makes sense. As long as we can find a date and a venue. It makes sense,” Hardy said in a recent interview with South China Morning Post.

“It’s a fight that I’m excited for. It’s a fight that would be perfect for me to step back in there, and to celebrate John Wayne Parr as well as a great opponent, and a great martial artist.”

Hardy and Parr also cordially exchanged replies on social media, showing a level of mutual respect for each other to build up interest. Hardy is obviously a big name in MMA, while Parr is one of the biggest names in kickboxing and Muay Thai.

Putting the two together in the ring will definitely be enticing for fans.

“The thing is, with John Wayne Parr, he’s one of the best to ever do it,” he said. “If I’m stepping in to do something, I want the stakes to be high. I want people to doubt me. I want the challenge to be great. And that’s exactly what I’ve got with John Wayne Parr.

He’s a veteran of the game, one of the most well-respected martial artists on the planet, one of the most experienced. The only advantage I’ve got is maybe I’ve got a bit more experience with smaller gloves and the cage. But we’re going to stand in elbow range and beat the hell out of each other. I know that. I can see it on John’s face and I know it in my heart. It’s a perfect matchup.”

Hardy revealed that he was scheduled to talk to ONE representatives within the next couple of weeks to discuss possibilities, which includes going beyond the Muay Thai bout with Parr and potentially fighting again in MMA.

During his time with the UFC, Hardy was one of the more popular fan-favorites because of his fighting style. In an interview with Bleacher Report, Hardy also mentioned wanting to explore MMA bouts with ONE, particularly matchups against Eddie Alvarez, Yoshihiro Akiyama, Shinya Aoki, and even Takanori Gomi.

Another big reason Hardy is leaning towards ONE Championship is the promotion’s unique weight-in and hydration system, which will allow him to compete at his natural weight class, fully hydrated.

“Excitement. Just excitement,” Hardy said of making a comeback. “I’ve been talking about fighting for a while. I’ve had conversations about it. I’ve been offered opponents, and they’ve not been of interest to me.

The benefit with ONE is the hydration testing. I could be at my weight, lightweight, and feel really good. That’s another thing that sparked my interest in ONE. After that, maybe it opens the door for a couple of other fights in ONE. Maybe MMA. Maybe kickboxing. I’m not sure but, I like the idea of having a few different fights under different rulesets, starting with caged Muay Thai.”

Published at Fri, 06 Aug 2021 23:36:20 +0000

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