Dan Hardy's Ultimate Fighting Playlist

The former UFC fighter turned commentator Dan Hardy gives Metal Hammer an insight into the music he trains to and what gets him worked up before stepping into the octagon.

Dan Hardy repping Metal Hammer

Dan Hardy repping Metal Hammer (Image credit: Mörat)

Clutch – The Face

“My good friend Mörat introduced me to Clutch a few years back and I’ve been a fan since. This particular song has had a lot of play recently. I love the fury in Neil’s voice, and I love the subject of the song. I think everyone that reads Metal Hammer would hope that artistic freedom will one day rise up against religious oppression.”

Deftones – Goon Squad

“This was one of my favourite training songs in 2015. I use the slow build-up to simulate the beginning of the fight. When the bass and drums kick in, thats the point when the referee claps to start the round. I’ve been a Deftones fan since I was at school and I don’t think that they have done a bad album. They’re all slightly different, and always a little more evolved than the last, but never losing their intensity.”

Earthtone9 – Evil Crawling I

“I remember seeing these guys at an all-nighter at Rock City in Nottingham. They unassumingly walked onto the stage, picked up their instruments and absolutely destroyed from start to finish. Totally blew my mind. During this song, even in the lighter vocal sections the drums still maintain a fast pace. Perfect for hard conditioning sessions.”

Faith No More – Be Aggressive

“An old classic for my generation. I never really liked Faith No More up until a few years ago, but I knew the hits from being out in clubs in my teens, and always appreciated Mike Patton’s eccentricity when it comes to song writing. I also have a lot of respect for how creative they are and the risks they took with their work. I don’t think I’ve ever spelled ‘aggressive’ correctly when singing along though.”

Life Of Agony – Bad Seed

“I love this album. I did the first time I heard it and every six months or so it comes round again, and I always enjoy it. I never had the same pull to any other Life Of Agony, so this for me is a stand alone album. One of the best lines on the album is in this song, and one that I’ve always connected with. ‘I need a place where I don’t need a smile as my disguise.’”

Meshuggah – Disenchantment

“This is my power-punching song. I always love the onslaught of a Meshuggah song to keep the energy flowing during training. If you look at my Instagram you will see videos of me swinging kettlebells around to these guys. It’s hard to pick an individual song, as they of kind of sound like the metal version of Pink Floyd. You can’t really listen to one song, you have to listen to the whole record in its entirety to really appreciate them.”

Motörhead – Damage Case

“Shout out to Lemmy for walking me out to the cage or ring on more than one occasion, and for his contribution to music. I picked up a copy of Overkill on vinyl from a car boot sale when I was a teenager. The sleeve was all battered and dog-eared so I got it for really cheap, but the record itself was fine. I jammed that for hours, and that old record still sounds better than the mp3!”

A Pale Horse Named Death – To Die In Your Arms

“Ah, the beauty of social networking! I often get into conversation with people of Twitter about music and sometimes get some great recommendations. I recently mentioned Type O Negative as I always return to October Rust when I’m in England for winter, and someone recommended these guys. It’s a solid album, particularly the first couple of tracks. I’m a sucker for anything that has a nice ‘chugging’ sound, so this one is a no-brainer.”

Pantera – Slaughtered

“Pantera could be my favourite band of all time, but Floyd are a close contender. I love Pantera and would not have enjoyed life as much without them. Nobody has a roar like Anselmo and nothing I’ve found gets me fired up for a fight as much as Pantera! I even had to stop using them for my walkout because it got me too aggressive, so when the fight started I was more like a berserker than a martial artist. This was a coin toss for pretty much any track. I’ve had Slaughtered on my training playlist recently, but next week I’m sure it will be replaced by some other Pantera awesomeness.”

Pentagram – Forever My Queen

“These guys have been sitting on my iPod for a few years, knowing that one day I would gravitate towards them. I do that quite a bit… I’m still waiting on my Rolling Stones phase, but I have their back catalogue ready! I love that filthy rock sound that Pentagram do so well. They sit perfectly on a playlist with Zeppelin and Sabbath, and are a little more mellow that some other songs I’ve selected. Good for driving into London and not inspiring rage at the idiot on the road!”

Refused – New Noise

“If I need to kickstart my training session, either because I’m sore, tired or just feeling lazy, this is the song. Often at the start of a training playlist, and usually returned to when my body is starting to give out, for that final push. It’s also used in the final game on Friday Night Lights, which is one of my fight day movies. It’s a great scene, and coupled with the song, it gets my mind on competition. I’ve programmed myself to respond in an aggressive way when I hear it. Perfect for my line of work!”

Tool – Eulogy

“I’ve spent as much time painting to this song, and whole album, as I have training to it. Tool are a special band in my opinion. Their rhythms and melodies are a thing of beauty and seem to have a timelessness about them. Eulogy is a real journey through emotions, and the music accompanies the flow of the vocals perfectly. It’s pretty widely agreed that Maynard is an extremely talented vocalist and that is really on show in this track – he goes from sounding calm and objective to outright furious at the person he is describing, and I think we can all relate to those feelings. Especially about someone that has far too much to say for themselves!”

Vision Of Disorder – Jada Bloom

“The perfect way to finish off a strong album. A lot of bands will pull back on the last couple of tracks… You know, show that they can do ‘mellow’ as well. Not Vision of Disorder. They are going to give you hell from start to finish. As much as I love their newer work, those first two albums will always hold a special place in my heart. They have also probably claimed a percentage of my hearing ability and an alarming number of brain cells over the years!”


A veteran of rock, punk and metal journalism for almost three decades, across his career Mörat has interviewed countless music legends for the likes of Metal Hammer, Classic Rock, Kerrang! and more. He's also an accomplished photographer and author whose first novel, The Road To Ferocity, was published in 2014. Famously, it was none other than Motörhead icon and dear friend Lemmy who christened Mörat with his moniker.