Ex-UFC Pundit Takes Aim at ‘Rotting’ UFC, Dana White, ‘Power Slap’

Dana White

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Former UFC fighter and commentator Dan Hardy kept up his criticism of the UFC, comparing the organization to “Putin’s Russia” and decrying the new “Power Slap” reality TV show.

“It’s very much Putin’s Russia inside of the UFC right now,” Hardy said during his March 23 appearance on The Ariel Helwani Channel. “It’s depressing to see all of these people that are usually really enthusiastic about mixed martial arts that are carrying this weight of this ridiculous circus of ‘Power Slap.'”

Hardy, whose relationship with UFC began to dissolve in July 2020, has established a significant online presence, where he frequently takes aim at UFC President Dana White.

“The company has been rotting from the inside for a long while and now the rot is starting to show on the outside, and I couldn’t have abided ‘Power Slap’ anyway,” Hardy said.

Dan Hardy Explains Dislike for ‘Power Slap’

Hardy left the UFC in March 2021 but said his departure would have been inevitable with the introduction of “Power Slap,” which he said exemplifies the “human cockfighting” image that UFC has sought to distance itself from.

He said it “wasn’t that long ago” that people questioned the legitimacy of MMA.

“I had people throwing the words ‘cockfighting’ at me,” Hardy said during his March 1 appearance on “Triggernometry.” “I’m like, ‘I am a professional athlete, I train all day every day, I am working on my skillset, I’m working on my physical conditioning; my sports psychology; I don’t drink; I’m dedicated in my diet, and you’re treating me like I’m a thug!'”

“Power Slap,” which premiered in January and features participants delivering open-handed slaps to their opponents, has endured criticism for its inherent danger. Dr. Bennet Omalu, an expert in head trauma and chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) even said the show should not be on TV, according to The U.S. Sun.

And SB Nation’s James Dator declared “Power Slap” to be “everything that is wrong with sports.”

To Hardy, 40, his “main issue with it is that it’s so closely tied to the UFC. … Now they can stick Power Slap on the side of it and don’t feel like they’re doing damage to the sport. If you had done that in 2010, it would have completely invalidated the UFC as a brand.”

Dan Hardy: Dana White Has ‘Overstayed His Welcome’

Hardy concludes, “I’m only in the UFC for [Veronica Hardy’s] sake now anyway, I’ll go there and I’ll corner and coach. I’ll talk about the fights with the fans, but as far as the actual organization goes it’s always going to be at arm’s length to me, especially while [Dana White is] at the helm, because, I just feel like he’s going to do more damage than anything else these days, he’s overstayed his welcome, absolutely.”

White has responded to the criticism by asserting that people complained about the barbarism of MMA in its nascent years, as well, only to see it become more mainstream.

“And I believe because of all the negativity and its attempt to kill it [has actually made it more popular],” White told Outkick’s Mike Gunz on March 10. “It’s literally deja-vu. It’s exactly the same except at just a much bigger level now. Every week we’ve had publications writing about this that would never cover Power Slap in a million years. So it’s actually been good.”

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