Dan Hardy: The Outlaw
The Outlaw: Part I
The Outlaw: Part II
"I get paid to beat people up," says Dan Hardy. "I love every minute of it." It's a good thing, then, that Hardy is an MMA fighter, and was cool with hanging out with us.
Still, he's not a typical fighter. He gets along with them, sure, and relates to them, but he also takes competition as an insult: Anyone who signs up to fight Hardy must "think he's better than me." And unlike most fighters—shit, unlike most athletes—he’s a pretty cool guy—engaging and a real human being. A real freak, sure, who hurts other people real, real bad, but a normal dude.
Hardy lives somewhere between isolation and aimlessness. When he's training for a fight he practically lives at the gym, and even when he doesn't have a fight on the horizon, he's still training as much as possible. He tells filmmaker and Blood for Blood bassist Ian McFarland what he thinks constant competition is doing to him. He’s an angry dude who wants to slow down and "chill out" eventually, but right now he gets off on the violence, on the discipline, on the superiority of beating another man down. Only fighters, he says, know what it’s like to prepare for a fight, and then withstand one. Everyone else has expectations, but no one else understands.
But is there anything for Hardy outside the world of fighting? He can’t relate to politicians or regular people… even other fighters. Actually, the only place outside the gym Hardy seems to feel comfortable is in the hardcore scene, where people have tattoos like his and generally don't give a shit who he is. He walks out to Cock Sparrer's "England Belongs to Me" at fights, which is appropriate since he's from Nottingham. His MMA nickname, The Outlaw, brings to mind Outlaw Anthems, Blood for Blood’s 2002 LP. The fact that the hardcore scene—where fuckups and angry little kids hang out—is the only place a person like Hardy feels normal seems appropriate.
The film was created as part of the McFarland & Pecci brand series of mini-docs focused on iconic subculture heroes. Go to www.mcfarlandandpecci.com to see the other films.