Antoni Hardonk is hanging up his gloves and taking on a different venture in the sport of mixed martial arts following his retirement earlier today.
UFC.com announced the news, and Hardonk was quoted addressing what he learned from taking a year off.
“Taking that year off and focusing more on that other side and that teaching and coaching aspect of myself, I found that I get as much satisfaction from that as from fighting myself,” Hardonk told Thomas Gerbasi.
The Dutch striker’s last contest in the UFC came in the Fight of the Night of “UFC 104: Machida vs. Shogun” when he was defeated by Pat Barry via technical knockout. Prior to that loss, a three-fight winning streak when snapped after he was knocked out by Cheick Kongo at UFC 97.
“My last two fights in 2009, I wasn’t really happy with the way I prepared myself leading up to the fights, my living situation, or the results of the fight,” Hardonk said. “So at the end of 2009, I wanted to make some changes.”
Now, after time off to rethink his career in the ever-growing sport, Hardonk is ready to put his fighting career in the past to help coach and train other fighters towards success. It is something that he has grown to love and something that makes him happier than his own victories in the sport ever could.
“It’s amazing and I can enjoy seeing somebody that I’ve been working with compete and succeed than competing for myself,” he said. “I’m my worst critic, and even when I win, I still see mistakes.”