"I'm ready for a new challenge, I'll be honest," Hardy said. "There are a lot of things about this sport that I love, and a lot of things about this sport that I don't like at all."
Hardy (25-10 MMA, 6-4 UFC) fights Matt Brown (16-11 MMA, 9-4 UFC) at UFC on FOX 7, which takes place Apr. 20 at HP Pavilion in San Jose, Calif. Hardy doesn't plan to retire immediately after the fight, but it's hard to see him continue in the sport if he suffers a brutal knockout loss.
"Martial arts for me has always been a tool to understand myself a little more, and it's getting to the stage where it's run its course now," Hardy offered. "The structure the sport has taken on is taking away from that for me, and I think I'm best served to be somewhere else in the future."
Hardy explained that he would like to go back to school, get his doctorate in philosophy and backpack around South America.
"I'll never be away from the gym for too long," Hardy said. "I couldn't walk away from it entirely. I just think there's a time to review where you're at and see what you want to do with the rest of your life, and I think in that two years when I was losing, I had a lot of time to do that, and I made plans for the future that I was excited about. Now, I've got a second chance at my UFC career, and I'm going to run at it and see what happens after it."